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Pleural Shunt to VA shunt

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Unread 06-11-2009, 12:31 PM   #1
Melissa21
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Default Pleural Shunt to VA shunt

Hey yall! It's been a while since I've posted so I guess I'll just catch yall up on everything going on with me. I think when I started on here I was just recovering from having my shunt changed to a ventriculopleural shunt from a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Well, I started feeling bad in January, with severe pain in the back of my head and dizzy spells. My neuro said its most likely my chiari malformation(which was most likely caused by my arachnoid cyst) doing it. So we were waiting for the college semester to end in order to do surgery for it. Well, around April, I started with nausea. It was every now and then at first and progressed to constantly by the end of April. Around that same time I started with a cough that wouldn't go away. It was almost every time I would try to say something I would end up coughing. I was also having a metallic taste in my mouth when I coughed.

So my neuro sent me for a chest x-ray to check it out and found some fluid on my lungs which suggested they were no longer absorbing the fluid, which we all know means it has to be moved. It didn't look like a whole lot of fluid, but enough that it needed to be moved. Well, my neuro told us he wanted to externalize the shunt before moving it to make sure the shunt was flowing ok. If it was flowing find he was just going to move it to either the jugular vein or subclavian vein, which ever he could get to easiest. Well, he proposed 3 possible dates(this was on a friday). He said we could either do it on wednesday(externalize it then and put it back on friday) or do it the following week. We at first were going to go for the following week, but my neuro didn't seem to happy about waiting that long and I was sick of the nausea, so we agreed that wednesday would be best. Well, I had the surgery to externalize it and when I got out I found out that instead of the small amount of fluid we thought was on my lungs it was between 2 and 3 liters! One of my lungs was partially collapsed as a result.

Anyways, externalizing my shunt was something I hope I never have to have done again!!! I was throwing up so much and I wasn't even eating! The nurses couldn't keep it regulated. Anyways, on friday, the shunt was flowing fine, so my neuro moved my shunt to the jugular vein.

So my question is what do I need to look out for? I have felt like my heart is acting a little weird since the surgery. Is that normal? Is it just adjusting? I guess I'm just wanting some help on things to think about, look for in case of a problem, or ask my neuro about when I have my stitches out on the 15th of this month. Thanks in advance for the help! ~Melissa~
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Unread 06-12-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
jadiee-x
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hi melissa,
sorry to hear about that, but blimey 2-3 litres in your lungs, wow. Didnt you have any problems breathing?!

Ive got a VA shunt as of the end of march. When i had mine done, i started experiencing twinges and sometimes horrible pain in my heart, which i believe is down to the tubing as ive have NEVER experienced any chest pain at all, definitely not in my heart!
I was trying to figure out what was setting the pain off the toher day after getting a stabbing like pain slice through my heart. (I was lying on my side in my bed and turned slightly.) I was wondering if it was the position i was in that caused the pain. So i done the exact same thing again, and once again the pain happened. I guess its the tubing scraping along the inside of the wall of the heart.
My headaches seem to have got worse, well not worse...but more frequent, like ive always got one...even if it is very mild.

My neurosurgeon reassures me that a VA shunt is the best kind of shunt. But i dont wanna even start to think of what would possibly happen if it stopped absorbing or whether the fluid built up

And another thing, 3 months after i had my shunt converted to the VA, my shunt valve started buzzing, not constantly...but everytime i get up form lying down, or getting up form sitting down and looking up, when im jumping up and down, or when im walking up and down the stairs. Since its started, there hasnt been a day where it hasnt buzzed. :/ Puzzles me for sure, especially when my neurosurgeon must of thought i was bonkers when i told him my shunt keeps buzzing. So i think he still doesnt believe me as he didnt even wanna take a listen. Even my parents have heard it, so its not in my head. hehe.

sorry about the long reply, its just i dont come across many people with a VA shunt
Wish you the very best of luck!
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Unread 06-12-2009, 11:07 PM   #3
Melissa21
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Hey! Umm, yeah, about the problems breathing thing??? Well, the neurosurgeon I had before the one I have now was horrible with making me feel like I was making things up(he was one of those who go by "well if the CT Scan doesn't show a problem, then there isn't one."), so now (in response to how he treated me, even though I don't have him anymore), I'm really bad about convincing myself that I'm imagining symptoms. I was having problems breathing(what I didn't know was that my lung was partially collapsed) but convinced myself that it was just my imagination. I felt like I was drowning whenever I was lying down and had started sleeping at an incline. I didn't even tell anyone about that until after my surgery when I found out what shape my lungs were in.

I haven't had any pain(yet and hopefully won't, but I've only had it like 2 weeks) but I keep having the feeling that my heart will beat a little faster for a few beats or something. Its weird and really hard to explain. I just wanted to know it wasn't my imagination and that your heart can act up a little with this thing! Makes me feel better knowing that I'm not the only feeling something going on.

Oh, and about the fluid build up my neuro said that it backing up from the heart isn't an issue anymore because its dispersed through out the body.

OMG!!! You had a buzzing valve too???? I swear I think my neuro thought I was losing it!!!! I had that a few years ago! My mom heard it and so did my little brother which made me feel lots better knowing it wasn't just me! It eventually got less frequent and now it might do it every once in a while, but not often. My neuro said he had never heard of it either. And of course it wouldn't do it around him, which is always how it goes!!!

Hey, I don't mind long replies at all!!!(obviously I'm just as bad about writing them!) I've been scrambling trying to find people with VA shunts talk to cause it always seems better finding things out from those who actually have them rather than a doctor who is just going off what hes heard from patients. Its definitely not every day I come across someone who has had a buzzing valve too! You're the first I've ever heard of having it besides me! Lol. Thanks for responding!!! ~Melissa~
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Unread 03-23-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
Applef12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa21 View Post
Hey yall! It's been a while since I've posted so I guess I'll just catch yall up on everything going on with me. I think when I started on here I was just recovering from having my shunt changed to a ventriculopleural shunt from a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Well, I started feeling bad in January, with severe pain in the back of my head and dizzy spells. My neuro said its most likely my chiari malformation(which was most likely caused by my arachnoid cyst) doing it. So we were waiting for the college semester to end in order to do surgery for it. Well, around April, I started with nausea. It was every now and then at first and progressed to constantly by the end of April. Around that same time I started with a cough that wouldn't go away. It was almost every time I would try to say something I would end up coughing. I was also having a metallic taste in my mouth when I coughed.

So my neuro sent me for a chest x-ray to check it out and found some fluid on my lungs which suggested they were no longer absorbing the fluid, which we all know means it has to be moved. It didn't look like a whole lot of fluid, but enough that it needed to be moved. Well, my neuro told us he wanted to externalize the shunt before moving it to make sure the shunt was flowing ok. If it was flowing find he was just going to move it to either the jugular vein or subclavian vein, which ever he could get to easiest. Well, he proposed 3 possible dates(this was on a friday). He said we could either do it on wednesday(externalize it then and put it back on friday) or do it the following week. We at first were going to go for the following week, but my neuro didn't seem to happy about waiting that long and I was sick of the nausea, so we agreed that wednesday would be best. Well, I had the surgery to externalize it and when I got out I found out that instead of the small amount of fluid we thought was on my lungs it was between 2 and 3 liters! One of my lungs was partially collapsed as a result.

Anyways, externalizing my shunt was something I hope I never have to have done again!!! I was throwing up so much and I wasn't even eating! The nurses couldn't keep it regulated. Anyways, on friday, the shunt was flowing fine, so my neuro moved my shunt to the jugular vein.

So my question is what do I need to look out for? I have felt like my heart is acting a little weird since the surgery. Is that normal? Is it just adjusting? I guess I'm just wanting some help on things to think about, look for in case of a problem, or ask my neuro about when I have my stitches out on the 15th of this month. Thanks in advance for the help! ~Melissa~
Hi my name is Apolonia. I had a Ventriculoperitoneal shunt put in 2011. I had all kinds of abominal discomfort and headaches. They told me everything was ok and it wasn't. Now in January I had it externalized and then changed to a Ventriculoplueral shunt. My lungs started to buildup with fluid and was changed to VA shunt. Not even a month later the catheter was too deep in my heart and my ventricles had enlarged. I had to go for another revision. I wanted to the doctor to changed my Strata Valve to Delta Valve because I heard its better but he said no. I feel better than how i did but not completely. I did feel something weird in my heart. It can be that the tip is tickling your heart.
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