A brain surgery always involves some risks. However, shunts have been performed for more than 50 years all over the world.

Surgical procedure

A shunt surgery typically lasts about an hour.

Insertion of a CSF shunt is a surgical procedure performed in the Operating Room under general anaesthesia. Neurosurgeons will choose the most appropriate operating method and valve for each patient depending on their experience and clinical patients' needs.

Here are the different steps of a shunt surgery:

  • Several small incisions are made in order to position the valve and the catheters under the skin.
  • The distal catheter is passed under the skin from the head to the peritoneal or atrial cavity, in the subcutaneous tissues
  • The valve is inserted underneath the skin, either on the cranium behind the ear, in the pectoral region or in the flank. the valve is connected to the distal catheter.
  • Following an incision into the scalp, a burr-hole is created through the cranium in order to allow the proximal catheter to be inserted into one of the lateral ventricles.
  • The valve is connected to the proximal catheter.
  • CSF flow is checked at the valve outlet connector.
  • The valve is connected to the distal catheter and CSF flow through the shunt is checked at the end of the distal catheter.
  • The end of the distal catheter is positioned in the abdominal cavity or in the right atrium of the heart.

In most cases, the patient who will benefit from a shunt will be able to go back home as soon as a week after surgery. However, the medical staff needs to make sure that every physical parameter be checked before letting the patient go back home.