Protective cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounds the brain. This fluid is produced in the brain chambers (ventricles). When the cerebrospinal fluid cannot drain properly due to a brain tumor, the brain chambers expand and the pressure on the brain increases. A VP shunt can solve this problem. The excess cerebrospinal fluid flows via the shunt, which runs from one of the brain chambers to the abdomen, to the abdominal cavity. There the fluid is absorbed by the body into the bloodstream and ultimately into the urinary tract.
The neurosurgeon makes a small opening in the skull, inserts the shunt into the brain chamber through this opening and then passes the tubing under the skin into the abdominal cavity. This procedure takes place under anesthesia in the operating room in the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital.
Contact the hospital straight away if you think the shunt is not working properly.
You will notice this because your child:
- Has headaches;
- Is groggy;
- Has double vision;
- Drinks less;
- Vomits frequently;
The problem can develop both slowly and quickly. It is important to call the hospital immediately (088-9727272) to find out whether the complaints are related to the shunt. If necessary, the neurosurgeon will replace the part of the shunt that is not working properly.
Should you need any further information, please feel free to ask.