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Shunt and flying ?

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Unread 06-25-2008, 05:22 PM   #11
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Hi Ondrej,

My name is Nikita i am 16 years old an have had a VP Shunt since i was 15 months old. I had a revision in February last year, last time i flew was 2 years ago and also suffered the same pain in the face on landing. Also suffered deafness in my left ear (same side as my shunt.) for several days.

My flight was only 2 hours, but i am due to fly in excess of four hours and i am a little worried that the effects might be worse with a longer flight.

So Paul i was wondering if you have managed to finish your paper and if you have any more information about this, hope your son is ok.

If anybody has any other information about this problem please let me no.
Other than the landing i had no other problems.

Thanks, Nikita.
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Unread 12-30-2008, 07:05 AM   #12
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Smirk My dad

Hi there, let me start by saying thank you all for all the stories you have shared and how happy i am to see so many people living clearly full lives with a CSF shunt.
With that said some of the stories have been positive and others have been less than positive towards flying with a shunt.
My major concern is that I have recently gotten engaged and are planning the wedding - My father has a shunt from a massive cerebral hemorrhage 7 years ago. He under went 7 major surgeries to unblock the shunt and has since recovered VERY well - if you didn't know that he'd had a CVA you'd never know anything was wrong. He has great memory loss to his short term memory and his common sense can be a bit off from time to time but other than that most things have straightened themselves out.
His BP is stable and holding.
SOOOO after that long lead up - my question is

We want to get married in the Grand Cayman Islands
Will he be OK to fly the flight from Toronto,ON, CA???

If you have ANY idea please let me know - like a website or number to call would be very helpful

thank you all very much
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Unread 12-30-2008, 06:25 PM   #13
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i too have had a vp shunt since 13 months old, im now 17, and i have flown numerous times around 30 times all kinds of distances.
ive never had any pain from any of the journey
i even flew less than a week after a full shunt revision and i had no problems with take off flying or landing.
i suppose this varies from person to person.
Hope all goes well
jade x
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Unread 01-14-2009, 05:31 PM   #14
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Hi, my son has a reprogrammable strata valve shunt. Have you heard of this? I wasn't sure if it was different from the VP shunt you mentioned. Well, he's had it for 5 years, and we've flown overseas to the Virgin Islands twice, with no issues. My son has also had little to no complications either, since the shunt placement. I know his neurosurgeon has always recommended to come back into the office to ensure that the shunt is on the same pressure. And it always is, even after reaching such a high altitude. Hope this helps!! We have an awesome neurosurgeon- Dr. Jogi Pattisapu in Orlando, FL. He is a key component in research concerning hydrocephalus.

Take care and God bless!!
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Unread 01-30-2009, 05:39 PM   #15
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I would like to add my "two penneth" worth, as we say in the UK if thats alright?

I have hydocephalus; have had it since I was about 12 weeks (ergo, probably in the womb), I have had about 48 shunt replacements (so many I often lose count) which have been blamed on a great many things, for example "ring worm" and "being allergic to the coating"...all false dawns, but anyway, I digress...I recently spent 3 months in a round-the-world trip which went as follows: London-NY-(Overland)-LA-NZ-Aus-China-Thai-India-Doha-Italy-(Overland)-UK...from that vast amount of flying I undertook, I have never experienced any trouble. What I'm trying to say is that I certainly agree that it must either be under very special conditions or on an individual basis (although I agree completely about the cabin pressure point, have a look at a potato chip bag the next time your on a plane, the pressure inside that bag for it to pop out is not "normal" - and that is happening to your brain)

Darren (H0ckeyd)
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Unread 03-21-2011, 11:53 PM   #16
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Default Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus & Flying

Originally Posted by janet View Post
I found you by doing word search "pain and altitude" - hope this helps:
3 years ago my trigeminal nerve was damaged - I've had many TX - nothing helps. EXCEPT, when I fly and 737s and we get above 30,000 feet my pain totally disappears. I still have the numbness in my face (nerve injured during surgery) but ABSOLTELY no pain. I've told all my MDx (including neurologists) and they don't have a clue. Thanks for standing your ground - doctors are limited in knowledge. STAND ON YOUR TRUTH.
May God bless you and your family.
I found your post very interesting!!

My 80 year old mother was diagnosed with dementia caused by NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus) late last year. I suspected that she has NPH and this was detected due to my insistence on her having a CT scan, seeing a good Neurologist and having a MRI scan.

I took both my elderly parents on a two week cruise to New Zealand a month ago, spending most of the time pushing Mum around in a wheelchair,
I thought her mental state at the time was like that of a three year old child.

After returning to Adelaide late at night from Melbourne by plane (a one hour flight), Mum pushed past me when we were in the laundry together.

I asked her what she was doing and she said she was going outside to help bring in the suitcases.

With that she powered out the door, down the step and strode out to the car, bringing back a small suitcase, which she lifted up and brought into the house.

All this occurred without her using a walking stick or shuffling.

She was behaving like the Mum I knew ten years ago, both physically and mentally. Sadly this only lasted for a short time, but it has given me such hope for the Shunt Operation which we hope she has soon!

My four sisters and I all thought Mum did not have Alzheimer's, even though her primary care doctor was not receptive to this idea at first.

This type of behaviour has occurred each time after she has flown in the last five years.

Have you or anyone heard of this phenomenon before.

P.S. We live in Australia
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Unread 03-23-2011, 07:54 PM   #17
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Default flying and vp shunts

I had a vp shunt put in october 2010. Shortly after my job changed and in January 2011 I started flying every week for work. I had no issues with flying. My doctor said he didnnt feel I would have any issues and he was right.
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Unread 03-25-2011, 09:36 PM   #18
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Default metal detectors?

I recently had my delta replaced with a strata valve. My Dr. told me that the strata has a small piece of metal in it that can get picked up in airport metal detectors. I don't carry a medical ID card or anything. Has anyone else with a strata valve been picked up by a metal detector? Especially with the new TSA regulations I am a bit nervous and I will be flying next week. Can anyone tell me how it went for you?
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Unread 03-31-2011, 08:38 AM   #19
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Default Shunts and Flying

Originally Posted by annakkro View Post
I recently had my delta replaced with a strata valve. My Dr. told me that the strata has a small piece of metal in it that can get picked up in airport metal detectors. I don't carry a medical ID card or anything. Has anyone else with a strata valve been picked up by a metal detector? Especially with the new TSA regulations I am a bit nervous and I will be flying next week. Can anyone tell me how it went for you?

I strongly suggest you talk to the NSA -National Security Agent - at your departure airport at least a week before you travel to learn what paperwork and ID's you will need to avoid all the magnetic scanning you will go through. DO NOT talk to a guard, but to a upper level supervisor. These people are NOT rocket scientists!! Also take a SIGNED Office Letter Head from your surgeon and any documents (ID CARDS) WITH YOU. I was told the Walk Through scanners are not dangerous to the valve, but the Hand Held Wands might be. Good luck!
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Unread 04-07-2011, 12:18 AM   #20
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My 20 year old son developed hydrocephalus at birth following a severe meningitis infection and has been shunted all his life. He has traveled by air extensively since infancy and never experienced any noticeable problem as a result. He also frequently drives to mountain areas, hikes for days at a time and rock climbs at altitude. While his experience has been positive so far, I am always weary of this type of anecdotal advice. Each case is different and I always advise to obtain a professional opinion from a neurosurgeon whenever possible.
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