Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt 2016-10-12T12:44:47+00:00

Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt

Diagram_showing_a_brain_shunt_CRUK_052

What is a VP Shunt?

A ventriculoperitoneal shunt, or VP shunt is a hollow tube implanted in the brain to drain CSF to the peritoneal cavity or abdomen. The VP shunt is used for conditions such as hydrocephalus where the intracranial pressure may readily increase. The shunt diverts the excess CSF so the patient can experience relief of symptoms associated with increased pressure such as mild dementia, urinary incontinence and difficulty walking.

Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Procedure

VP shunting is a surgical procedure that treats a condition called hydrocephalus. This condition occurs when too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collects in the brain’s ventricles. CSF is in a closed system that holds its own equilibrium. CSF cushions your brain and protects it from injury inside your skull. The fluid acts as a delivery system for nutrients that your brain needs, and it also removes waste products. Normally, CSF flows through these ventricles to the base of the brain. The fluid then bathes the brain and spinal cord before it is reabsorbed into the blood.

When this normal flow is disrupted, the buildup of fluid can create harmful pressure on the brain’s tissue, which can damage the brain. Doctors surgically place VP shunts inside one of the brain ventricles to divert fluid away from the brain and restore normal pressure, flow and absorption of CSF.

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