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How long does it takes to know if a shunt works

      Re: How long does it takes to know if a shunt works

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Posted by CCF Neurosurgery MD on October 21, 1997 at 06:06:36:

In Reply to: How long does it takes to know if a shunt works posted by serge blackburns on October 18, 1997 at 22:44:03:

: My mother have had a shunt put in place 4 weeks ago.
  We would like to know, how long does it takes to see
  if the shunt works, and I mean by that improvement of
  My e-mail is   ***@****
Dear Serge,
Shunts are used to treat hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus results when the spinal
fluid cannot flow and exit the ventricles of the brain normally. It may be
obstructive, as in a tumor blocking the flow of spinal fluid, or communicative,
where the fluid isn't absorbed back into the venous system normally. Communicating
hydrocephalus occurs after a subarachnoid hemorrhage or meningitis.
Improvements with a shunt may be seen immediately, more slowly over time, or
not at all. Much depends on the cause and duration of hydrocephalus. Often
patients will be more 'awake' shortly after a shunt is placed, or their
headache will improve. This can be a dramatic change. If the hydrocephalus
is more longstanding or for normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) it may take
You should speak to your mother's neurosurgeon about the reasons for shunting
and his expectation for improvement in your mother's particular situation.
Good luck.

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