Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child Care

Learn what care is required for the Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.


Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child Details

What to Expect Prior to Procedure

At your child's doctor appointment before the surgery, the doctor may:

  • Do a neurological exam-This is to find out how your child's nerves work. It involves evaluating mental status, as well as motor and sensory abilities.
  • Order MRI or CT scans of the brain-Images of your child's body will help the doctor plan the surgery.
  • Answer any question that you have-Can my child take her regular medicines before the surgery? What kind of recovery can we expect? How soon will symptoms start to improve? What are signs that the shunt is not working?
  • Instruct your child to not eat or drink before the surgery-Your child's doctor will give you instructions about fasting based on your child's age. Fasting may range from 6-12 hours before surgery.


General anesthesia will be used. It will block any pain and keep your child asleep during the surgery. It is given through an IV (needle) in the hand or arm.

Description of the Procedure

A breathing tube will be placed to help your child breathe during surgery. The scalp and abdomen are cleaned with antiseptic. The doctor will make small incisions in the scalp and abdomen. A small hole is made in the skull. A catheter is passed through the hole into your child's brain. Then the catheter is tunneled under the skin down to the abdomen. This end of the catheter is put into the abdominal cavity. The incisions are closed and a dressing is applied to each area.

Immediately After Procedure

After the surgery, your child will be taken to the recovery room for observation. If all is well, the breathing tube will likely be removed there. Your child will be moved to a hospital room to recover.

How Long Will It Take?

1-1½ hours

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Your child may be given medicine to treat pain and soreness after surgery.

Average Hospital Stay

Your child may be in the hospital for 3-7 days. Your child's doctor may choose to keep him longer if complications arise.

Post-procedure Care At the Hospital
  • Your child may need to lay flat for up to 24 hours after surgery.
  • Your child's heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and brain status will be monitored closely.
  • Your child will receive nutrition through an IV until she is ready to eat and drink.
  • The shunt will be checked to make sure it is working.
  • Antibiotics may be given. Pain medicine will be given as needed.
At Home

When your child is at home, do the following for a smooth recovery:

  • Follow the doctor's instructions on bathing. You will probably not be allowed to soak your child's head in water or wash her hair until healing is complete.
  • Check the incision sites to make sure they are not infected.
  • Do not let your child pick at the incisions.


Learn what Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child is
What Is
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Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt - Child
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO