Question: Can You Live A Normal Life With A Shunt?

What are the side effects of having a shunt?

Some of the most common risks of CSF shunts include infection, shunt malfunction, and improper drainage.

Infection from a shunt may produce symptoms such as a low-grade fever, soreness of the neck or shoulder muscles, and redness or tenderness along the shunt tract..

Is having a shunt a disability?

You cannot get disability automatically for hydrocephalus because it is not a specifically listed condition in Social Security’s “blue book” of listed impairments.

How long can you live with a shunt?

Shunting is successful in reducing pressure in the brain in most people. VP shunts are likely to require replacement after several years, especially in small children. The average lifespan of an infant’s shunt is two years. Adults and children over the age of 2 may not need a shunt replacement for eight or more years.

Can you fly with a shunt?

Flying. Flying in a regular commercial jet is fine for most people with shunts. If you were told years ago not to fly, it’s worth asking your neurosurgeon again as things have changed. Some people will have been told by their neurosurgeon not to fly, for specific reasons, so do check if this applies to you.

Can a person with hydrocephalus drive?

Hydrocephalus typically affects visual acuity, coordination, judgment and concentration, all of the skills which are necessary to drive. Just learning how to coordinate between controlling the steering wheel and applying the accelerator or brake can be a daunting task when you have poor motor skills.

Can a shunt ever be removed?

Once the shunt has been proven to be unnecessary, it can be removed – typically as an outpatient procedure. Careful long-term follow-up is necessary to evaluate for recurrence of hydrocephalus requiring shunt replacement.

Can you live a normal life with hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations. Hydrocephalus can occur at any age, but is most common in infants and adults age 60 and older.

Does a shunt stay in forever?

VP shunts are generally safe, but there are some risks during and after the surgery. There can be bleeding, or an infection can develop. VP shunts to not work forever.

What happens if a shunt stops working?

A shunt blockage can be very serious as it can lead to an build-up of excess fluid in the brain, which can cause brain damage. This will cause the symptoms of hydrocephalus. Emergency surgery will be needed to replace the malfunctioning shunt.

How do you know if your shunt needs to be replaced?

Children and AdultsVomiting.Headache.Vision problems.Irritability and/or tiredness.Swelling along shunt tract.Personality change.Loss of coordination of balance.Difficulty waking up or staying awake (this symptom requires urgent attention as it can potentially lead to a coma)More items…

How long can a person with hydrocephalus live?

The mortality rate for hydrocephalus and associated therapy ranges from 0 to 3%. This rate is highly dependent on the duration of follow-up care. The shunt event-free survival is approximately 70% at 12 months and is nearly half that at 10 years, post-operatively.

What can’t you do with a shunt?

Shunts won’t drain when the head is lower than the distal (bottom) end of the shunt, so being upside down for any length of time will usually be very uncomfortable, and best avoided. However, activities where the head is down for a brief moment, such as cartwheels, handstands or rolls should be fine.

How long is hospital stay for shunt surgery?

About the Shunt Operation Your stay in the hospital will generally be for two to four days total. Follow-up visits will help the doctor ensure that the shunt is functioning properly and continuing to relieve hydrocephalus symptoms.

How often should a brain shunt be checked?

All younger patients with a shunt should probably be encouraged to seek a neurosurgical check up at least every three years, ideally at a dedicated hydrocephalus follow up clinic.

How successful is shunt surgery?

It’s estimated that more than 80% of those properly diagnosed with NPH and screened for shunt responsiveness will experience rapid improvement in their condition, although it may take weeks or months to see the full benefits of the procedure.

Does hydrocephalus affect memory?

Symptoms of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Mild dementia is described as a loss of interest in daily activities, forgetfulness, difficulty dealing with routine tasks and short-term memory loss.

How much does a brain shunt surgery cost?

The average total cost associated with an initial ETV procedure was $35,602.27. The average total cost associated with an ETV failure treated with a new VP shunt insertion was $88,859.05.

Is shunt surgery painful?

During VP shunt surgery, the doctor placed two small tubes (catheters) and a valve under your skin. After surgery, your neck or belly may feel tender. You will probably feel tired, but you should not have much pain.