my daughter is 11 years old. when she was 14 months old she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and had a flow regulated vp shunt placed. she had that shunt for basically her entire life until just recently she needed to have it replaced. her neurosurgeon replaced her shunt with a strata valve (pressure regulated valve) shunt system. 1 week after her new shunt was put in, she has been experiencing pounding headaches in her forehead/temple area - the headaches last for a few minutes, and they occur when she stands up after she has been lying down, when she bends forward, and when she exerts herself. Is this normal for her to experience this with this type of shunt, will she suffer these symptoms forever? Her neurosurgeon is also concerned that she may have slit ventricle syndrome. Is this life threatening - can you die or suffer severe brain damage from this?
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine her I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that she needs, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about her health concern.
If she has continuous headache, possible causes may be shunt is either under-draining or over-draining. Her doctor can assess this with a lumbar puncture and measures the fluid pressure. He/She may make some adjustment of the shunt to allow it to drain more and can monitor if the headache improve. Another possibility could be shunt is over-draining, that may lead to low CSF pressure that can also lead to headache. This may improve when the person lies down and gets worse when the person sits or stands. Other possibility could be migraine or cluster headache since these types of headaches are quite common in females. Even then if she suffers continuous headache, please arrange an appointment with a neurologist right away who will evaluate the further underlying disorders here that may be the main reasons of her headaches and can suggest her appropriate treatment. Hope this information proves helpful to you.
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