Trouble with shunts

Hi everyone. This is my first post so forgive me if I start rambling. 

My husband had his accident on July 2nd last year. Fell down the stairs and suffered tbi. Was in a coma for about 6 weeks and when he stay to come round contracted MRSA and was heavily medicated for another 6 weeks. 

Finally got moved to rehab unit at the end of September and was then diagnosed with Hyrdocephalus. Recieved a vp shunt on the 5th November and finally started to make some progress.

The BI has effected his left side and he was just starting to get some movement back into his leg and arm. Was starting to get to he could have a simple conversation and was eating properly. 

At the end of January this year started to show signs of hydrocephalus returning. I was told that he was fine and it was just the new medication he was taking!. Finally after arguing for around five weeks he saw the consultant who confirmed his shunt had stopped working. 

He had a new one fitted on the 14th March and was sent back to rehab unit , where he was diagnosed with a UTI. So more antibiotics . Now he is over the infection and it is quite obvious that this shunt isn't working properly. The doctors at the rehab unit have confirmed this and have contacted the hospital that have done his previous surgery only to be told that they can't see him until the 12th of this month!!. Meanwhile he's lying there again, unable to communicate and constantly feeling sick. 

Does anyone else have any experience of these kind of problems concerning shunts?. His consultant told me when the first one was fitted that they very rarely go errand he probably wouldn't need mess with again for years. 

Feeling really frustrated as he's been in rehab for 6 months now and it feels like we are back to square one.

Thanks for reading all the way through. Feel much better now it's down in black and white.

3 Replies

  • Hi Bluejet,

    Sorry to hear about your husband and when you said the doctor told you they rarely go errand, that was a load of tripe.

    I've got to say, some doctors really are quacks and do not know what they are talking about.

    I have a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt as well. I have had one for 20 years now, not the same one though.

    In 1996, I had a brain tumour that was located on my brain stem and causing hydrocephalus. I had 2 ops that year and one included having the shunt installed. I have had a lot of operations on my head and several of them have been to do with my shunt.

    My first original shunt was installed in 96 and lasted up until 2005 where I had surgery on my back. The surgery was simple but I  later had an emergency op on my shunt because during my back op, the surgeon, somehow, dislodged my shunt!

    I don't know how he did it! He must've twisted my body up like some diseased pretzel.

    Either that or he deliberately dislodged it. Might sound a bit crazy but after things I have read, it's not so crazy, but that is a different story.

    So from 2005, I had some problems with my shunt.

    My brother was the first person to tell me to keep more hydrated, drink more water, as a more hydrated body would be good for my shunt and he was not wrong, it does help.

    Also, over the past few years, I have turned more to nature and try to consume more natural foods and ditch or lessen processed, fake foods. In a nutshell, fake foods are crap, natural foods rule.

    I encourage you and your husband to do the same. I would encourage anybody on here to go natural. 

    Fake foods will only worsen your health.

    Take care,


  • Hello.  I am familiar with hydrocephalus.  I have had it for 56 years.  At 3 months old, I was diagnosed with it.    I have had many shunt revisions due to shunt malfunctions.  I mention this because my body was rejecting the operational procedure of replacing or unblocking the shunt.  It was a matter of getting the body to adjust to the valve implant to help ward off a fluid blockage for me.  I am still under care with a neurologist to this day.  I just wanted to tell you that there is someone else out there in case you need to talk about your husband's condition.  I understand it fully.  It took many trips for my mom and dad and myself to get the right shunt implanted correctly.  I am closely monitored for shunt operation now. 

    Please if there is anything that else I can share with you or if you would need to just talk then  please speak with me. 

  • Thanks empath06. It good to know he's not the only one whose had these kind of problems.

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