Type of Surgery

Information

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Last updated: 02/17/2009

Purpose

A ventricular shunt relieves hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an increased volume of CSF within the ventricles. In hydrocephalus, pressure from the CSF usually increases. It may be caused by a tumor of the brain or of the membranes covering...

the brain (meninges), infection of or bleeding into the CSF, or inborn malformations of the brain. Symptoms of hydrocephalus may include headache, personality disturbances and loss of intellectual abilities (dementia), problems in walking, irritability, vomiting, abnormal eye movements, or a low level of consciousness.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (a condition in which the volume of CSF increases without an increase in pressure) is associated with progressive dementia, problems walking, and loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence). Even though CSF is not thought to be under increased pressure in this condition, it may also be treated by ventricular shunting.



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Definition

Ventricular shunt is a surgical procedure in which a tube is placed in one of the fluid-filled chambers inside the brain (ventricles). The fluid around the brain and the spinal column is called the cerebrospinal fluid. When infection or disease causes an excess of this cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles, the shunt is placed to drain it and thereby relieve excess pressure.

Purpose

Ventricular shunt relieves hydrocephalus, a condition in which the ventricles are enlarged. In hydrocephalus, pressure from the cerebrospinal fluid usually increases. It may be caused by tumor of the brain or of the membranes covering the brain (meninges), infection of or bleeding into the cerebrospinal fluid, or inborn malformations of the brain. Symptoms of hydrocephalus may include headache, personality disturbances and loss of intellectual abilities (dementia), problems in walking, irritability, vomiting, abnormal eye movements, or a low level of consciousness.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus is associated with progressive dementia, problems in walking, and loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence). Even though the cerebrospinal fluid is not thought to be under increased pressure in this condition, it may also be treated by ventricular shunting.


From http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/ventricular_shunt.jsp

Other Information

Select comparative data from 1999 to 2006 include an 11 percent increase in the number of neurosurgeons with full-time academic appointments and a 6 percent increase in the number of female neurosurgeons.


From: AANS

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