Anyone have a VP shunt?

Yellow LedbellyYellow Ledbelly Posts: 3,749
edited June 2012 in All Encompassing Trip
I had one...umm...installed when I was an infant. Had trouble with it for years and finally a new doctor demanded replacement when I was in eighth grade. Had that one until my sophomore year of college when I had a wreck, which resulted in it being shattered. I've had the same shunt since then, but lately i've been concerned about the thing. I haven't had any trouble except that sometimes the tube works into a position in my neck where it is a bit uncomfortable but nothing major. I must admit I've never really educated myself on it and just accepted the fact that it is there and as long as it does its job I'm good.
I've had no symptoms such as headaches or vomiting, but I was wondering if anyone knows how long one is expected to last?? It seems my doc said mine should be good basically for life but that was 17 years ago so I don't exactly remember. I haven't been for a checkup in probably 4-5 years but a trip to the doctor and missed day of work seemed pointless for a five minute examination when I wasn't having any trouble.
All I have to do is revel in the everyday....then do it again tomorrow

They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong...I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 15,524
    while it might not rise to physical discomfort, it seems iit is in fact bothering you through wondering its life span? Perhaps its worth it to know?
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  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 19,879
    I don't know what a VP shunt is, sorry...but is there a reason you can't just call your doctor and get it checked out? Some missed work seems miniscule compared to discomfort and lack of knowledge/peace of mind.

    And possibly do some online research as well? The information you're looking for should be fairly simple to track down.

    Seems a wise investment of a relatively small bit of time.

    Wish you well!
  • of.the.girlof.the.girl Posts: 10,026
    Having undergone one brain surgery already and on the fence with another one to put in a shunt...I'm pretty knowledgeable with brain and shunt stuff. Do you have hydrocephalous or Interrcranial Hypertension? Is that why they put the shunt in?

    It may be that scar tissue is building up around the tubing or the tubing is kinked somehow in your neck. If I were you, I'd have it checked out.

    As far as longevity on the shunt itself. It depends on the person. Some people it last for years, like in your case, others, their body rejects it and has to have multiple surgeries to try to get it to work properly.
  • Yellow LedbellyYellow Ledbelly Posts: 3,749
    Having undergone one brain surgery already and on the fence with another one to put in a shunt...I'm pretty knowledgeable with brain and shunt stuff. Do you have hydrocephalous or Interrcranial Hypertension? Is that why they put the shunt in?

    It may be that scar tissue is building up around the tubing or the tubing is kinked somehow in your neck. If I were you, I'd have it checked out.

    As far as longevity on the shunt itself. It depends on the person. Some people it last for years, like in your case, others, their body rejects it and has to have multiple surgeries to try to get it to work properly.
    I have hyrdocephalous. Actually you make a good point about the kinking because i have noticed that at times I can feel a kink but then at other times it seems to be straightened out. Again I haven't had any problems but I really got to thinking about it yesterday because I was made aware of a woman from here who recently had to have hers replaced. I just got to thinking about me having had mine so long. I feel like there is no issue here at present time but I suppose since I've slacked on my checkups I should try to get one scheduled
    All I have to do is revel in the everyday....then do it again tomorrow

    They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong...I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all
  • of.the.girlof.the.girl Posts: 10,026
    Having undergone one brain surgery already and on the fence with another one to put in a shunt...I'm pretty knowledgeable with brain and shunt stuff. Do you have hydrocephalous or Interrcranial Hypertension? Is that why they put the shunt in?

    It may be that scar tissue is building up around the tubing or the tubing is kinked somehow in your neck. If I were you, I'd have it checked out.

    As far as longevity on the shunt itself. It depends on the person. Some people it last for years, like in your case, others, their body rejects it and has to have multiple surgeries to try to get it to work properly.

    I have hyrdocephalous. Actually you make a good point about the kinking because i have noticed that at times I can feel a kink but then at other times it seems to be straightened out. Again I haven't had any problems but I really got to thinking about it yesterday because I was made aware of a woman from here who recently had to have hers replaced. I just got to thinking about me having had mine so long. I feel like there is no issue here at present time but I suppose since I've slacked on my checkups I should try to get one scheduled

    You are a very fortunate person to have it well controlled. There are some, myself for one, that struggles to keep the CSF balanced. If I were you, I would most definitely have it checked up on. Even if you are currently not having any symptoms or complications, it is still something foreign in your brain and body. And 1 checkup a year is not that much. If you need help finding a very knowledgeable doctor...let me know. I have a network of folks with the good and bad doctors in the states.

    Have you ever done any research on your condition?
  • Yellow LedbellyYellow Ledbelly Posts: 3,749
    Having undergone one brain surgery already and on the fence with another one to put in a shunt...I'm pretty knowledgeable with brain and shunt stuff. Do you have hydrocephalous or Interrcranial Hypertension? Is that why they put the shunt in?

    It may be that scar tissue is building up around the tubing or the tubing is kinked somehow in your neck. If I were you, I'd have it checked out.

    As far as longevity on the shunt itself. It depends on the person. Some people it last for years, like in your case, others, their body rejects it and has to have multiple surgeries to try to get it to work properly.

    I have hyrdocephalous. Actually you make a good point about the kinking because i have noticed that at times I can feel a kink but then at other times it seems to be straightened out. Again I haven't had any problems but I really got to thinking about it yesterday because I was made aware of a woman from here who recently had to have hers replaced. I just got to thinking about me having had mine so long. I feel like there is no issue here at present time but I suppose since I've slacked on my checkups I should try to get one scheduled

    You are a very fortunate person to have it well controlled. There are some, myself for one, that struggles to keep the CSF balanced. If I were you, I would most definitely have it checked up on. Even if you are currently not having any symptoms or complications, it is still something foreign in your brain and body. And 1 checkup a year is not that much. If you need help finding a very knowledgeable doctor...let me know. I have a network of folks with the good and bad doctors in the states.

    Have you ever done any research on your condition?
    Yeah I had been thinking I needed to have the checkup anyway but I do feel very fortunate to have had it under control for all these years and hopefully for many many more. I feel that I have a very knowledgeable doctor so no worried there....very satisfied but when it got to the point he only wanted to see me every two years I pretty much forgot about it after two years and just never started scheduling again.
    I'm sorry to hear that you've had so much trouble. As I noted earlier I had an awful time with it up until I was in the eighth grade and finally switched doctors. My pediatrician had actually done more to control my problems than my neurologist had when I was a child by prescribing diamox for me which seemed to work for the most part. But, as I am sure you know, you definitely know it when the shunt is not working.
    I have never done much research on the condition actually, but I did do a little reading this morning as to how long to expect them to last. It seems opinions differ on that.
    All I have to do is revel in the everyday....then do it again tomorrow

    They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong...I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all
  • of.the.girlof.the.girl Posts: 10,026
    It greatly differs on how long they last. Some people have a huge success with VP shunts and not LP shunts. But then again, it's vice versa for some as well. It all depends on how your body handles the tubing and the hardware and how your doctor adjusts the valves. Nowadays they have programmable ones. Which some are still on the fence about.

    Who is your doctor if you don't mind me asking?

    Oh good ole Diamox. The only good thing that medicine did for me was stop me from drinking soda since it tasted like metal. YUCK! But in the end....the diamox did more harm to me. I also have a brain disorder
    (Chiari Malformation) on top of the IH. So for me, it's a little harder to get things under control.

    It wouldn't be a bad idea to do a little reading up on your condition. All the brain disorders are quite fascinating. At least in my eyes I think
  • Yellow LedbellyYellow Ledbelly Posts: 3,749
    I use Andrew Parent at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He has always been great. He's the one who finally put a stop to all the madness when I was in the eighth grade and he also redid it when I wrecked.

    And yes...you are right...diamox was some godawful tasting shit for sure

    It's weird for me...i know I should be more on top of it but I just grew up knowing what the core of the problem was and that I had a pump in my head to help with that and have never really thought about it. But in my adulthood I've not had much reason to worry about it so I've just kept bopping along.

    Also my parents have said that it was believed my problems arose from the fact that I should've been a c-section birth and trauma during birth brought it about.
    All I have to do is revel in the everyday....then do it again tomorrow

    They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong...I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all
  • of.the.girlof.the.girl Posts: 10,026
    Did they ever say that you had any other brain issues or spinal issues? Usually hydro is mixed with something else. Just like my Chiari is mixed with IH and autonomic issues and heart issues. Mainly because of the compression on the brain stem.

    Trauma during birth is usually the culprit for some but not all. Some may be genetic. But then again, it depends on what doctor you are talking to and what their philosophy is at that point in time.
  • Yellow LedbellyYellow Ledbelly Posts: 3,749
    Actually no to either additional brain problems or heart issues. I have never had anything else and was always extremely active in athletics. I actually did some reading on Dr. Parent and saw that he is highly knowledgeable about the Chiari Malformation you mentioned....among other things of course.

    I've just always thought my situation was typical after they finally got everything right. I mean when i did go for checkups it was a matter him shooting the shit for a few minutes, asking if I had had any trouble and then measuring my head. That's it. Every 3 or 4 years a CT scan. So to me it has just always seemed like something that should be easily corrected, although of course quite serious. What types of spinal and/0r heart conditions are often also present in such cases anyway?
    All I have to do is revel in the everyday....then do it again tomorrow

    They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong...I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all
  • of.the.girlof.the.girl Posts: 10,026
    Oh gosh..the list is endless sometimes it seems.
    The heart issues could be Mitral Valve Prolapse (or more than one valve), Blood pressure issues, holes in the heart.
    Spinal issues could be Tethered Cord, Syringomyelia, Spina Bifida, Scoliosis, and those are just off the top of my head.

    No two people are ever the same in diagnosis when it comes to the brain. It's always a case by case basis.
  • Yellow LedbellyYellow Ledbelly Posts: 3,749
    Gosh so I guess I am extremely lucky to that degree then huh? Now are those issues usually present from the get-go or can they be later to arise? It's never even been suggested that I visit a heart doctor or anything like that.

    I'm sorry...i know you feel like I've rooked you into a game of 20 questions now but your knowledge has me intrigued...I don't guess I've ever really asked these questions to be honest
    All I have to do is revel in the everyday....then do it again tomorrow

    They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong...I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all
  • of.the.girlof.the.girl Posts: 10,026
    check your pm's :)
  • kenshuntkenshunt London, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 2,854
    I have a vp shunt that drains fluid from the brain, i've only had one shunt, i had it lengthened at 9 years old and haven't many problems except like minor neck stiffness.
    London 2005
    Toronto 2011 night 2
    Hamilton 2011
    London 2013
  • Yellow LedbellyYellow Ledbelly Posts: 3,749
    kenshunt wrote:
    I have a vp shunt that drains fluid from the brain, i've only had one shunt, i had it lengthened at 9 years old and haven't many problems except like minor neck stiffness.
    Sounds like you and I are about the same. As I said the first one I had as a child never really worked properly for whatever reason. HAd the wreck that caused me to have a new one just before I turned 19 and now just before turning 36. Seems to me now that they told me barring something unforeseen that I should be good to go for a long long time but not sure.
    All I have to do is revel in the everyday....then do it again tomorrow

    They say every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong...I'm guilty of all seven and I don't feel too bad at all
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