Originally Posted by marcelli
My 21 year old son received his first ventriculoperitoneal shunt at 4 days old. He had a few revisions over the years, but it functioned quite well until last August. There was so much scar tissue in his abdomen that after 2 back to back revisions in August, we went to a programmable ventriculopleural shunt in October. It was reprogrammed in April, but he is still having a lot of headaches, and his NS is considering a switch to a ventriculoatrial shunt. I am not crazy about the whole "let's route it to his heart" thing, but I don't want him having headaches every time he laughs or coughs, either. Any thoughts on changing? Good/bad experiences? Higher risks associated with the VA shunt? Thanks! ~Marla
When I was one month old, my original neurosurgeon placed a VA shunt. It worked swimmingly until I was 16. He then replaced it with another VA shunt. That worked for another 12 yrs. My next neurosurgeon placed a VP shunt and redid the valve (because it was the wrong valve he originally placed, two weeks later). That shunt lasted 2 yrs. I had shunt revisions every yr for 10 yrs, due to one issue or another. My last revision was 2007.
VA shunts are safe. They don't go *directly* into the heart. The tubing connects up to the Superior Vena Cava. VP Shunts are just another way to place the shunt tubing, that has become popular since the late '70's and early '80's.
You son could be dealing with an issue that happens after numerous shunt revisions called "Slit Ventricle Syndrome" or SVS. The setting of his shunt valve may be incorrect, for his current condition. I have dealt with SVS for the last 20+ yrs. It's a drag, but one gets use to what to do to make oneself comfortable.