Ventriculo-peritoneal shunt

 

A ventriculo-peritoneal shunt can be implanted in order to divert excess cerebrospinal fluid away from the brain. The CSF is usually diverted to the peritoneal cavity, the area surrounding the abdominal organs.

 

The surgeon makes a burr hole in the skull and another small surgical cut is made on the abdomen.  Through the burr hole in the skull and a thin tube called a catheter is passed into a ventricle of the brain. This can be done with or without neuronaviagtion as a guide.

Another catheter is placed under the skin behind the ear and moved down the neck and chest, and usually into the abdominal area. The surgeon may make a small cut in the neck to help position it.  A valve is placed underneath the skin and is connected to both catheters.

When extra pressure builds up around the brain, the valve opens, and excess fluid drains out of it into the abdomen. This helps decrease high intracranial pressure. Some valves can be programmed to drain more or less fluid from the brain.