Hydrocephalus VP Shunt

Posted by nikkivpshunt @nikkivpshunt, Mar 7, 2019

Hi all not sure whether anyone can shed any light on this matter. I had a shunt fitted at the age of 2. I am very lucky and have had no serious issues to date. For the past couple of years I have been suffering with stomach pain, starts as a niggle and then the pain increases and sometime gets so bad that i cannot stand up straight. It only lasts for a few hours. It sometimes feels like something tearing and also a deep pain and when press on the area aggravates the pain. I have been checked over for appendictis, gall stones, shunt apparentely is working fine. So it is a mystery. The pain continues but not as bad as it was last August when i had to go a and e. I was referred to someone at southend but that was in case it could be stomach troubles and they said it could be scar tissue issues on my stomach where it has thickened over the years but still unsure. I just wondered whether anyone has had anything similar to this? Thanks.

Hi, @nikkivpshunt – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'd be perplexed, too, if I had a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt for years with no serious issues, and then I started experiencing stomach pain that doctors could not pinpoint as appendicitis, gallstones or a shunt problem.

I'd like to introduce you to some Connect members who may have some thoughts about the pain symptoms for which you are trying to get answers and relief, like @user_chdb5e8ac @jenniferhunter @johnbishop @lady1lake @stephenluptak.

I am not a medical professional, but I did want to provide this Mayo Clinic information on hydrocephalus https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hydrocephalus/symptoms-causes/syc-20373604. Relevant to your situation may be the information in the Diagnosis and Treatment tab at the top, under the Treatment section, Complications of Surgery:

Complications of surgery
Both surgical procedures can result in complications. Shunt systems can stop draining cerebrospinal fluid or poorly regulate drainage because of mechanical malfunctions, blockage or infections. Complications of ventriculostomy include bleeding and infections.

Any failure requires prompt attention, surgical revisions or other interventions. Signs and symptoms of problems may include:

Fever
Irritability
Drowsiness
Nausea or vomiting
Headache
Vision problems
Redness, pain or tenderness of the skin along the path of the shunt tube
Abdominal pain when the shunt valve is in the abdomen
Recurrence of any of the initial hydrocephalus symptoms

Wondering if a neurosurgeon has evaluated you and your current symptoms, @nikkivpshunt?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @nikkivpshunt – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'd be perplexed, too, if I had a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt for years with no serious issues, and then I started experiencing stomach pain that doctors could not pinpoint as appendicitis, gallstones or a shunt problem.

I'd like to introduce you to some Connect members who may have some thoughts about the pain symptoms for which you are trying to get answers and relief, like @user_chdb5e8ac @jenniferhunter @johnbishop @lady1lake @stephenluptak.

I am not a medical professional, but I did want to provide this Mayo Clinic information on hydrocephalus https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hydrocephalus/symptoms-causes/syc-20373604. Relevant to your situation may be the information in the Diagnosis and Treatment tab at the top, under the Treatment section, Complications of Surgery:

Complications of surgery
Both surgical procedures can result in complications. Shunt systems can stop draining cerebrospinal fluid or poorly regulate drainage because of mechanical malfunctions, blockage or infections. Complications of ventriculostomy include bleeding and infections.

Any failure requires prompt attention, surgical revisions or other interventions. Signs and symptoms of problems may include:

Fever
Irritability
Drowsiness
Nausea or vomiting
Headache
Vision problems
Redness, pain or tenderness of the skin along the path of the shunt tube
Abdominal pain when the shunt valve is in the abdomen
Recurrence of any of the initial hydrocephalus symptoms

Wondering if a neurosurgeon has evaluated you and your current symptoms, @nikkivpshunt?

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@lisalucier I visited a neurosurgeon about 4 years ago when I was referred after an opticians appointement said i had/saw pappilidema so to be on the safe side i was referred to an eye clinic and neurosurgeon to check all was OK. The neurosurgeon did say all seemed fine and I could keep their details and go back in five years for a check up (next year) but I have not seen them with regard to these symptons only the eye symptons which evenutally they put down to a rise in my blood pressure. I have not gone back to doctors with these symptons as they are more sparse than what they were and unless it gets as bad as it did last August i will continue as I am. Just would be good to know whether anyone of the same condition has ever experienced these symptons? Doctors are difficult to deal with when it comes to shunt issues I find as most have found it a novelty and cannot wait to feel my head and neck, whcih to be honest makes me uncomfortable as I do not like to feel it myself let alone anyone else but just because it makes me feel weak because I am a wimp when it comes to theses things 🙂

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Hi, @nikkivpshunt – I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @lisalucier and other members. I was not familiar the VP Shunt and have no medical background or training but I like to learn. I did find an interesting article but I'm not sure if it's helpful in your case.

Right Lower Quadrant Abdominal Pain in a Patient with Prior Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting: Consider the Tip!
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crim/2012/253027/

I'm hoping someone with some experience with VP Shunts are able to share some suggestions with you. It's good that you are taking an advocate position with your health. The more you can learn, the better questions you can ask the doctors so that they can help you. I would keep a log of your symptoms and occurrences and discuss them with your doctor…or maybe seek a second opinion if it's been going on a long time and you are unable to get answers from your current doctor.

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