Friday, April 12, 2024

Brain Shunt Surgery Recovery Time At Home

Recovering After Brain Surgery

Shunt Surgery & Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus — What to Expect — DePuy Videos

It can take some time to recover from your surgery. You might want to read information about recovering after brain surgery next.

  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence , 2018

  • Cancer Principles and practice of oncology VT. De Vita, TS. Lawrence, and SA. RosenbergLippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2008

  • The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures L Dougherty and S ListerWiley-Black, 2015

  • Postoperative complications after craniotomy for brain tumor surgeryL Lonjaret and othersAnaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine, 2017. Vol 36, Issue 4, Pages 213-218

  • Postoperative care of the neurosurgical patientM Siegemund and L SteinerCurrent Opinion in Anaesthesiology, 2015. Vol 28, Issue 5, Pages 487-493

  • Consensus summary statement of the International Multidisciplinary Consensus Conference on multimodality monitoring in neurocritical care a statement for healthcare professionals from the Neurocritical Care Society and the European Society of Intensive Care MedicineP Roux and others

What Treatments Are Available

There is no cure for NPH, and there is no medication available. However, a CSF shunt can provide symptom relief to some patients. Implanted surgically, the device removes excess fluid from the ventricles. If the lumbar drain trial is successful, the patient may be a good candidate for a permanent CSF shunt. Because NPH is usually a progressive disorder, the shunt extends quality of life for the patient but symptoms of NPH may return.

Sometimes a patient with NPH may be unable to have a shunt because of other health problems that would make surgery unsafe. Treatment of that condition may improve the patient’s health enough so that he or she can undergo shunt surgery safely.

What To Expect With Hydrocephalus Shunt Surgery

The thought of having to undergo brain surgery is frightening and can be physically and emotionally taxing. Thats why its important to learn as much as you can about the procedure, get to know the medical professionals involved in your care, and know what to expect post-surgery.

The best way to prepare for hydrocephalus shunt surgery is by thinking about what questions you want to ask your professional healthcare team, and by being prepared to answer any questions they may have for you. By spending some time preparing for your surgery, you can help ensure that you have a successful procedure and recover faster.

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What Are The Benefits Of Vp Shunts

Shunts usually relieve the symptoms of hydrocephalus, often within days of placement. Full recovery can take weeks or months. The shunt will need to remain in place, even after you feel better.

Most importantly, VP shunts treat hydrocephalus well. They relieve the pressure on the brain, reducing the risk of damage from the pressure.

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Will I Need To Have Further Scans After My Surgery

Services â Newcastle Brain &  Spine

Yes. Your healthcare team will let you know about any scans you need to have.

Initially, scans may be done more frequently, but over time the interval between scans may become longer. This will depend on the type of brain tumour youve been diagnosed with.

You can find more information on our diagnostic scans page.

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The Hydrocephalus Shunt Surgery Procedure

Shunt surgery is a relatively short and uncomplicated procedure that varies slightly depending upon two factors:

  • The neurosurgeons preference on where to place the upper shunt catheter, which is the part that goes into your head. The shunt catheter may enter from the frontal or posterior position.
  • The location of the lower shunt catheter permits the draining of the excess cerebrospinal fluid to another part of your body.
  • When it is time for your surgery, you will be brought into the operating room. There, you will be hooked up to an intravenous line as well as to one or more devices to monitor you during and after surgery. These devices include:

    • Electrocardiogram which monitors your heart rate.
    • Automatic blood pressure cuffmonitors your blood pressure.
    • Pulse oximeter-measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.

    You will likely be given general anesthesia, either through your IV line or with a special mask placed over your nose and mouth, which will make you fall asleep. A small amount of hair on your head may be shaved and some antiseptic solution will be scrubbed on your head and parts of your belly to help prevent infection.

    Small incisions are then made on the head and in the abdomen shunt,) or the collar bone area shunt) to allow the neurosurgeon to pass the shunts tubing through the fatty tissue just under the skin. A small opening is made in the skull to allow the upper catheter to be passed through the brain and into the ventricle.

    When Can I Drive Again

    This depends on a range of factors including:

    • the type of tumour you have/had
    • the type of operation you had
    • the symptoms youve been experiencing.

    This can be very difficult to adjust to, but its very important that you dont drive until your healthcare team decides you are fit to drive and the DVLA return your licence.

    You can find more detailed information on our driving and brain tumours page.

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    What Are The Common Types Of Shunting Mechanisms

    Based on which part of the body the catheter is draining to, shunts are of four types. They are:

    • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt – Where the last part of the catheter is attached to the abdomen next to the intestines. The fluid will get absorbed into the blood vessels of this area and excreted through urine.

    • Ventriculoatrial Shunt – In this type of shunt, the last part of the catheter is fitted into a vein in the neck and guided into the heart. The CSF gets drained into the right chamber of the heart and becomes a part of the circulation. Eventually, it is excreted through urine.

    • Ventriculopleural Shunt – Pleura is a membrane that covers the lung that lodges the pleural fluid. The end part of the catheter is connected to the pleural cavity, where it becomes one with the pleural fluid and later on gets excreted through urine.

    • Lumboperitoneal Shunt – This one is different from the other types since the draining part of the catheter is not inserted into the brain but into the spinal column . It is connected to the abdomen . From here, just like in a VP shunt, the fluid gets absorbed into the blood vessels next to the intestine and gets excreted through urine.

    What Is A Shunt

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    A shunt is a hollow tube surgically placed in the brain to help drain cerebrospinal fluid and redirect it to another location in the body where it can be reabsorbed.

    Shunt procedures can address pressure on the brain caused by hydrocephalusand relieve its symptoms such as gait difficulty, mild dementia and lack of bladder control.

    If the doctor finds that these problems improve after alumbar puncture, it may mean that placing a shunt may be able to provide a longer-term benefit.

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    What Are The Outcomes Of Hydrocephalus Shunt Surgery

    Shunt surgery is an effective treatment for hydrocephalus. By draining excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain, shunt surgery reduces pressure inside the skull, lowers the risk of central nervous system damage, and relieves the symptoms associated with hydrocephalus.

    Once you have a shunt, you always have a shunt, except for a few exceptions such as the few that have a successful endoscopic third ventriculostomy after living with a shunt. This means a shunt is a lifetime commitment. Unfortunately, no shunt lasts forever. There is a 40% shunt failure rate in children within the first 2 years of placement necessitating a shunt revision. A shunt may need to be replaced because of an infection or blockage, or because the shunt valve stops working properly. Fixed pressure valves, which are preset to a fixed pressure, may need to be replaced if the fixed pressure setting no longer matches the persons needs. In children, a shunt may need to be replaced as the child grows to lengthen the catheter, particularly if it is a VA shunt.

    Some shunt valves are programmable and the pressure setting can be changed by using a powerful magnet in a special programming device. However, the magnet from an MRI may affect the setting on a programmable valve. It is important to ask your neurosurgeon or APP if you have a preset or programmable valve so if you need an MRI, you can let radiology know the type of valve you have.


    What Do I Need To Know Before Surgery

    Prior to surgery, a head CT scan will be obtained to allow the pediatric neurosurgeon to see the brain and ventricles and determine the best position/entry site for the ventricular catheter or to guide the ETV.

    The family will receive communication at least two days before coming to the hospital about where to go the day of surgery, as well as specific instructions regarding home medications and when to stop eating and drinking prior to the surgery.

    Expect to spend 1 2 days in the hospital after surgery. Your child will be admitted to the general pediatric floor, where they will be monitored closely. Pain medication will be given as needed to ensure maximum comfort for your child. Our goal is to maintain the utmost safety, comfort and healing of your child.

    The pediatric neurosurgery providers at Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine are specially trained on this diagnosis and are experts in the care of hydrocephalus. We know it can be a scary time, and we have a team of medical professionals who are available to answer any questions or discuss any concerns that you might have.

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    How Do Vp Shunts Work

    Most shunts have two catheters connected by a valve. One end of the upstream is in a ventricle. The other end of the downstream catheter is in the peritoneal cavity. This is the space inside the belly where the stomach and the bowels sit. The shunt is all inside the body, under the skin.

    The valve opens when the pressure in the brain gets too high. This lets fluid drain from the brain into the peritoneal space. From there, the extra fluid is absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered out in the kidneys. Then the body can pee out the extra fluid.

    Your Recovery From Brain Surgery For Meningioma Is A Personal Process

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    It canât be stressed enough that your recovery experience is going to depend on many factors, including your tumor size, grade and location, as well as your overall health. Have a frank discussion with your doctor prior to your procedure to find out what he or she expects for you during your recovery from brain surgery for meningioma. Use the information you have learned here as a jumping-off point to further the conversation with your doctor at your next appointment.

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    While In Hospital My Blood Sugar Levels Were Checked Every Day Will This Continue

    Blood sugar levels dont necessarily have to be checked every day. But, if youre still taking dexamethasone at home, the ward staff will arrange for your local district nurses or practice nurse to monitor your blood sugars at home

    How often theyre checked will depend on what your blood sugar levels were during your hospital stay.

    Why The Procedure Is Performed

    This surgery is done when there is too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and spinal cord. This is called hydrocephalus. It causes higher than normal pressure on the brain. It can cause brain damage.

    Children may be born with hydrocephalus. It can occur with other birth defects of the spinal column or brain. Hydrocephalus can also occur in older adults.

    Shunt surgery should be done as soon as hydrocephalus is diagnosed. Alternative surgeries may be proposed. Your doctor can tell you more about these options.

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    How Does A Shunt In The Brain Work

    A shunt is a flexible tube in the form of a catheter. It has an inflow catheter that drains the CSF from inside the brain once it is properly positioned. Additionally, there is a valve mechanism connected to the shunt, which regulates the fluid flow while draining. The valve works under preprogrammed pressure levels so that just the right amount of fluid is drained and the normal pressure is maintained. The last part is an outflow catheter that runs under the skin and opens out into another part of the body, where the fluid gets absorbed.

    How Do You Care For A Vp Shunt

    Draining the Brain: Shunts and their Role in Treating Hydrocephalus

    âYour surgeon will provide you with specific care instructions. Generally, there is no day-to-day care needed for a shunt. It is important to attend all follow-up visits with your surgeon. They will check your pressure setting and make sure your shunt is still working properly.

    You will probably also need to:

    • Tell your surgeon if you ever need abdominal surgery so they can talk with your surgery team about any special precautions.
    • âLet your surgeon know if you ever had an abdominal infection such as appendicitis or diverticulitis.
    • âIf you have a programmable valve and must have an MRI, set up an appointment to have the pressure setting adjusted on the same day.

    If you have a programmable valve, set up an appointment to have the pressure setting checked if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Persistent headaches
    • Problems with balance

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    Shunt Complications And Risks

    Potential complications of shunt surgery include those related to the actual operation as well as those that may occur days to years later.

    Each persons situation is different, so it is important for individuals and their families to consider these potential complications carefully. You should discuss all your concerns with the doctor to ensure that the potential benefit of getting a shunt outweighs the risks.

    Risks and complications may include:

    Blockage is one of the most common problems. Blockages can often be fixed and rarely result in serious harm.

    Shunt malfunction may include over- or under-drainage. A shunt system that is not functioning properly requires immediate medical attention.

    • Over-drainage: When the shunt allows cerebral fluid to drain from the brains ventricles more quickly than it is produced, the ventricles can collapse, tearing blood vessels and causing bleeding in the brain or blood clot, marked by severe headache, nausea, vomiting, seizure and other symptoms. This risk occurs in approximately 5 to 10 percent of people with shunts.
    • Under-drainage occurs when CSF is not removed quickly enough. Pressure builds and the symptoms of hydrocephalus recur.

    It is difficult to predict how long shunts will last, but some practitioners note that about half of all shunts need to be revised or replaced after 6 years.

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    Medicines To Prevent Seizures

    It is common to take medicine to prevent seizures . These are called anti epileptics or anti convulsants. You might have them as tablets, liquids or injections.

    Seizures can be a symptom of raised pressure inside the skull. They might also be caused by irritation of the nerve cells of the brain.

    You may be able to stop taking these medicines once you have fully recovered from surgery. But some people need to take them for longer.

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    What Is The Recovery Time For Brain Surgery

    There are many conditions that can be treated with brain surgery, such as tumors and vascular malformations. Whatever your diagnosis, if your doctor has recommended brain surgery as a treatment option, you are likely wondering, What is the recovery time for brain surgery?

    Treatment options vary and as a result, recovery times vary, as well.

    • Traditional brain surgery requires a hospital stay of approximately 3 days, followed by 4-6 weeks of activity and work restrictions
    • Gamma Knife Radiosurgery does not require a hospital stay, and most patients return to normal activity levels within a day or two
    • The recovery time for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is shorter than traditional brain surgery because it is a minimally invasive treatment using radiation therapy, with no incisions or scalpels

    To help you better understand what to expect after your procedure, review the following information for detailed information regarding both traditional brain surgery as well as a minimally invasive treatment called Gamma Knife Radiosurgery.

    When Will I Be Able To Return To Work


    Like most aspects of recovery, this will be different for everyone depending on their diagnosis, how their heath is following surgery and what their job is.

    Most people need at least six to twelve weeks off work. However, this may be longer if youre having further treatment or if your job involves certain risks for example, if you drive, work at heights or use heavy machinery.

    Youll be able to discuss this with your doctors and CNS to make plans that best suit your personal circumstances.

    It may be useful to discuss returning to work with your employer before your surgery. We have a range of resources available to help you have that conversation.

    If youre worried about returning to work because of financial issues it may help you to look at our financial support page.

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    What Happens Before The Operation

    Some tests may be required.

    The neurosurgeon will explain the operation to you and ask for written consent. A shunt is inserted under a general anaesthetic. The risks associated with this surgery will be explained to you.

    An anaesthetist will see your child and speak to you about when your child will need to stop eating and drinking in preparation for the operation.

    Who Needs A Vp Shunt

    Hydrocephalus can occur at any age. However, it occurs more often in babies and adults older than 60 years of age. This excess fluid can be a result of several factors:

    • Overproduction of cerebrospinal fluid
    • Blood vessels that do not absorb it properly
    • A blockage that prevents it from flowing freely as a result of tumors, cysts, or inflammation

    Signs of hydrocephalus include blurred vision, memory loss, severe fatigue, cognitive delays, headaches, seizures, and an abnormally large head. A doctor will run imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. Once confirmed, a surgeon will schedule surgery for a VP shunt procedure.

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