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SPINAL FLUID SHUNT COMPLICATIONS
I AM WITH A HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY. WE HAVE A DEPENDENT CHILD, 14 YR OLD FEMALE, THAT WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PSEUDOTUMOR CEREBRI IN 2010.  THE CHILD HAD A SPINAL SHUNT PLACED EARLY 2011. SHE HAS HAD SEVERAL ADMISSIONS SINCE THE PLACEMENT OF THE SHUNT FOR REVISION/REPLACEMENT BECAUSE THE SHUNT IS MALFUNCTIONING, PATIENT IS STILL HAVING SEVERE HEADACHES.  IS IT COMMON FOR THE SHUNT TO MALFUNCTION SO OFTEN?  IS THERE ANYOTHER TREATMENT THAT SHOULD BE TRIED?
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Hi there. There are various shunts used to treat the raised intracranial pressure and consequent symptoms. The complications associated are infection, obstruction due to blockage at either the proximal or the distal end, excess protein in the csf blocking the proximal end and pupped out end out of abdominal cavity etc. Over drainage can also cause blockage and acquired Chiari 1 malformation. There is a condition called slit ventricle syndrome occurring several years after shunt implantation. The condition occurs when overdrainage and brain growth occur simultaneously.  Here the brain fills the intraventricular space, leaving the ventricles collapsed. If your child has lumboperitoneal shunt it would be better to change to a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. The treating neurosurgeon is the best guide as to what could the problem be for repetitive malfunction. Take care.

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