Roopa - hydrocephalus shunt with headache
My son is 14 and has had a shunt since he was 4 1/2. After having surgery to remove a brain tumor, he developed hydrocephalus, and a shunt was placed.
He had a shunt revision in 2010. The shunt was also relocated from a lumbar shunt to a venticuloperitoneal shunt. Recently (in February) he began experiencing headaches and stomach aches. He went through several non-invasive tests, and finally, his NS did surgery to explore the shunt. This was the beginning of May.
Through May and June, he had several surgeries - one surgery was to replace a catheter. He also had the shunt externalized to monitor the pressures of the shunt. The NS thought he had the information he needed, the shunt was internalized and we thought all would be well after that, but soon after the surgery, my son continued to have severe headaches and stomach aches.
Eventually, the shunt was externalized again and a lumbar shunt was placed as well, and externalized, to see what would work for him.
The headaches and stomachaches all but disappeared with the shunt externalized. Unfortunately, we were told by the NS that what my son experienced with the shunt externalized could not be mimicked exactly. But we hoped the severity of the headaches would lessen. The shunt was internalized, and also relocated. He still has a venticular shunt, but it now drains in the atrial region, rather than the peritoneal area.
That was about three weeks ago. My son is still experiencing severe headaches, and still has a stomachache.
Your question about the bi-shunt is confusing to me. Are you asking if a shunt can be revised to a bi-shunt? I recently read about the bi-shunt. Is your son experiencing uneven venticles?
To avoid overdrainage, a programmable valve can be placed. These types of valves can be readjusted to create a flow of CSF that works best for the patient.
There are many causes for shunt headaches. It can be related to the shunt. It can be due to overdraining or underdraining of CSF. It can be related to small ventricles (slit ventricle syndrome).
Some medications work for some patients who have shunt headaches. My son is taking topamax, but it is not really doing anything for the headaches.
Some patients find relief depending on whether they are laying down or standing upright. If this is the case for your son, then his headaches may be due to overdraining or underdraining.
I hope this helps. Good luck.