Friends does anyone of you have a shunt? - Headway


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Friends does anyone of you have a shunt?



Does any of you had a shut in the brain? How complicated is it to have one? and how difficult is it to manage life long? because I believe it will be there for life once put. Looking at my brother in law's latest CT scan his Neuro Surgeon is in the opinion of putting a shunt as he finds the patient drowsy. But we want o avoid it and have multiple opinions before taking a decision as we are worried about another surgery and the repercussions. So I wanted to ask your experiences as well. Pls share your experience if anyone has undergone a shunt installation in brain.

18 Replies

Hi Sanju. I don't have a shunt but I know it can be a life-saving procedure for patients with pressure from a spinal fluid build up.

There is the alternative of an endoscopic procedure where a hole is created in the brain to drain the fluid, without a tube, but it really should be the decision of your brother-in-law's surgeon.

The surgeon will have performed countless brain surgeries and is best qualified for such a decision. Even an experienced brain surgeon wouldn't reach a decision unless he had studied the scans and history of the patient in question.

My best wishes to you all ; I hope the matter will soon be resolved.

Hi my wife has a shunt had it for two years now she has the electronic one now problem with it as of yet just have to watch strong magnet which can effect it

sanju_littu in reply to Shutty52

HI SHutty, you mena they remove it later?

Shutty52 in reply to sanju_littu

No its permanent

I have a shunt. It was the only way that my brain could release fluid to my bladder. The doctors also advised that after a while the brain/ body functions would take over and it wouldn't be needed but still there as back up. The operations done at the moment to insert a shunt are very advanced and is done quite regularly. I would take advice and trust the medical team as they are experienced in this.

I have no issues with my shunt. I have done video blogs to help other people understand the difficulties I have been through and to give hope. Please watch and share and it might help ?

sanju_littu in reply to Kavib

hi Kavita,

Did you have any complications with shunt? did you have any memory loss initially before shunt and got improved with shunt? My brother in law is being drowsy and total memory loss for almost 1.5 yrs post his accident. Can you please tell us about the repercussions.

Kavib in reply to sanju_littu

Yes I have also suffered memory loss and it does get better with the shunt and with time as this regulates the fluid.

I have done 3 videos to explain what has happened. Hope they will help.


Thankyou so much Kavita, It gives some strength to our uncertainties. Haha First time I have come across with an India in this forum.

Hi Santju,

I have a VentriculoPeritoneal (VP) shunt.

I originally had/have a brain tumour located on the brain stem and because of the location it is blocking the flow of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF).

I say 'have' because during the surgery on my tumour, the tumour calcified half way through meaning it is still blocking the flow of CSF.

The plan was to have surgery to have the shunt fitted to drain the fluid away and then I could have more surgery to remove the tumour. Then once the tumour was gone, I could have more surgery to remove the shunt but alas... That is not how it worked out in the end :(.

The shunt does not really cause me any problems really, it feels like a thick vein or artery which runs under my skin from the right side of my head down toward my abdominal cavity.

From 96 I had an excellent shunt that was in very good working order up until 2005.

In 2005 I was diagnosed with a cyst in my was quite a simple operation. Open me up, scoop it out, stitch me up. But that's just it, I really did get stitched up. The surgeon SOMEHOW managed to dislodge my shunt!

So I later had an emergency operation to add a new shunt.

This new shunt didn't last very long at all because I had further surgery the next year , 2006, and the surgeon said the shunt had fallen apart!

In 2008 the shunt malfunctioned, blocked up.

And again in 2010. But not too long after this operation I had an emergency operation because after the first op I had a haemorrhage and blood got into the shunt. So the emergency op was to have the shunt completely flushed out.

It is now 2016 and I have had no problems with my shunt. I hope that is the end of it.

I shall add that I believe peoples' diets are a massive reason for health issues and I have changed my diet around now for the better.

I definitely believe it is my diet that is keeping me in good nick.

If I had the awful diet I used to have, I think I would have been straight in hospital by now.

Hope I helped.

Take care,


sanju_littu in reply to Matt2584

Thanks a ton MJ. But you really remember all ur surgical history or someone told u?

Matt2584 in reply to sanju_littu

I remember most of what happened to me. I have quite a good memory. I wasn't in a coma for days or weeks or anything like that. The only time I have been in a coma-like state is when, and if, my shunt malfunctions.

When the shunt has malfunctioned in the past there can be a number of symptoms. Coma, Nausea, confusion, cronic fatigue/tiredness, vision problems/vision out of focus, headaches.

I have experienced all those symptoms before.

I have never been abroad on holiday but have spent holidays in UK.

I went to Wales in 2010. We planned to stay at least a week there but it ended up being cut short because of my shunt.

I was ok for the first couple of days, I managed to go up Mt. Snowdon.

After was when I had problems. We were in Llandudno and I had terrible headaches, vision was out of whack and felt nauseous.

We visited the GP on our stay. The GP actually knew nothing about shunts and was getting his information from the computer!

After that is when we drove back home to Southampton general hospital where I had my previous ops.

An MRI scan proved that my shunt was blocked up once again. Keeping well hydrated is key for keeping the shunt clear.

A blockage could appear in the shunt due to toxins in the blood? I think that is right.

Hydrating yourself clears those toxins.

It is important for anybody to keep hydrated.

Take care,



My partner needed a shunt after his brain injury, it helps to regulate the fluid around the brain as his body had forgotten how to do it, so it has very much helped him. I also know a man who had a shunt put in at 6 months old - he's only ever had 1 problem with his and he's 30 now, if he didn't tell me he has a shunt I'd never have known

sanju_littu in reply to Hidden

Oh sera thank u so much.

Hidden in reply to sanju_littu

Hope you brother in law is doing OK, and of course his whole family x

Hi there i too have a shunt. It was fitted last year in Birmingham. I initially went to my GP as kept falling over and had terrible balance. Soon after an MRI scan it was discovered I had NPH and a shunt was really my only option to prevent it from getting worse. I'm 47 and although my balance and gait are not great I can still live with it! The biggest thing for me was tiredness, not great memory and not being able to drive for 6 months post surgery. Good luck I'm sure everything will work out fine.

Hi I have 6 shunts fitted over a 41 year period 4 VP shunts and 2 VA shunts due to Obstructive Hydrocephalus . I did have a long period (1984-2011) where I had very little intervention and lived a full and active life (family and work) and was largely unaffected by the shunt particular the 4th VP shunt. It’s difficult to predict shunt failure - for many people the shunt will last for a very long period of not for the remainder of their life . In my case more recently they failed / blocked and I had to have them revised . In late 2013 I needed another MRI which detected a Tectal Plate Tumour that was causing the obstruction of the CSF . This has probably been there for quite some time and although it’s too risky to do a biopsy of this it seems to be Benign in nature . It was decided that rather than do another shunt that an alternative procedure ETV was carried out ( March 2014) . Since then I have managed fairly well - not headache free entirely and had to take early retirement but coping well. The ETV is not suitable for every condition and Shunt may well be your best bet . I owe my life to shunts and while I have had quite a few revisions it has not really restricted my life . All the best

Same here as for SmithyBadger. I first had a shunt in 1987 at the age of 14. I have an AVM which obstructs the normal escape route for CSF. My AVM hasn't caused me much of a problem so far so I only know about it because it caused Hydrocephalus. As a young teen I suffered with really horrible headaches and vomiting. My GP insisted they were migraines until my mum pushed for me to have a CT scan. At that time I was on the verge of haemorrhage and was rushed in for an emergency op to fit a shunt. I have had 4 replacements when it became blocked but other than that no problem. I do suspect I will need to have a shunt for life though.

In 2009 I had an SAH4 then ventriculitis, got over that then Sepsis, so I am lucky to be here.

My family were concerned about me having a shunt fitted but came through it and sung to nurse, who promised me she'd put my cross back on. It is a permanent one and it is part of me now.

Before shunt was fitted I'd talk about My Dad who died in 1999, thought he was still alive as I saw Mum and Dad. Mum would tell people off for singing to me and wouldn't speak to me either, in my Dream like state I'd chase my Mum swim after her and then saw a tall man with sweets who told me I have been good but could be better!! and he threw a tray of sweets over me. As I turned to pick them up I saw my Daughter when she was small and my hubby both looked sad. So I ran over to them and that's when my shunt kicked in I guess. 2010 shunt in, awkward at first what side to lay on but I have good family and know I am better as I get tutted at a lot where as before they were all loving to me lol xxxxx Be well all (oh yes went in on Thursday op Friday came out Saturday)

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