Lumber shunts

Hi, in 2002 I had sinusitis with a very rare side effect, orbital cellulitis which gave me a big blood clot on my brain. I wasn't too well as you can imagine. Anyway, I ended up with Hydrocephalus so got a LP shunt - works a treat! I have also been left with the most dreadful headaches (now controlled). I also used to Blackout 3 to 4 times a day. This has been more or less stopped now due to stopping working.

My question is... With the LP Shunt I've been told I can't go above 1200 metres. But my son is moving to Chamonix and I want to be able to visit. What would happen if I went higher than 1200 metres? My husband jokes that I'd explode! Any advise.....thank you in advance.

5 Replies

  • Hi LadyBal,

    Thank you for your question.

    1200 metres is quite a restrictive condition, but in issues like this we would always suggest sticking to the medical advice you are given. The lower pressures at higher altitudes can cause problems when it cannot be equalised properly in the body, so there is a possibility that it would seriously affect the functioning of the shunt and/or cause you some severe discomfort.

    Perhaps you could give the hospital a call and speak to someone who knows your case. Is there a contact you have for someone who can answer questions about this?

    Best wishes,


  • I can email the surgeon who gave me it. I did get a letter from him 2009 confirming it, so maybe it's a no go.

    Thank you for your advise.

  • Good idea LadyBal. Things do sometimes change so it's always worth a try - do let us know what they say, I really hope you'll be able to visit your son.

    Best wishes,


  • Have you looked at other modes of transport going via a ferry boat

  • It's not the flying, that's ok. I inject heperon for that, it's the height of the town etc.

    I know when you fly it is pressured and it is pressured at more than 1200 metres, so not quite understanding why I can't go higher outside a plane! Still I await the reply from my neurosurgeon.

    Thank you for your suggestion.

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