What Is A Shunt.

ok so again i’ll try and make this easier to understand, i will try to not use the scary doctor words if i can help it,

so a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) Shunt,

is basically works like and overflow system does, it does exactly the same as an overflow system, if the fluid builds up, then the Shunt drains it away,

so there are 2 openings to the Shunt surgery, it’s usually a little horseshoe scar behind

the ear, and then the other scar is on the abdomen, scar on the head is the top, scar on the abdomen is the bottom,

the ear, and then the other scar is on the abdomen, scar on the head is the top, scar on the abdomen is the bottom,

so the reason a shunt is needed, this is more than likely that along with SB there is also hydrocephalus, this isn’t always guaranteed but they do go hand in hand, due to the legion (opening) and cerebellum (brain pull),

this isn’t an easy surgery yes it’s not a lengthy one and baby is usually in recovery after 30-40 minutes,

it’s still brain surgery most surgeons will not fit this unless they really have to, my son’s Nuro held fire on cais he wanted to see if the fluid would balance after the back closure, but we ended up having other op any way because Cais head went totally off centile, the picture below went up within 2 weeks….

I could actually see the sutors( plates) that weren’t yet fused together because of the fluid pushing them open,

As you can see from the above picture, cai looked in pain, and his head didnt look right either, I was petrified for this surgery, but I noticed the change instantly, he didn’t look so tense, he was alert, he focused on me, he fed better, slept better, I still too this day could kiss the surgeons feet because he fixed my little boy
like with any surgery there are risks,

this more so, because it’s in the brain, the surgery consists of a hole being drilled into the skull, this hole has a 5 Cm length tube fed through it, through the gaps in the brain, into the 3rd ventricle, were it stays on the opposite side of the tube, outside the skull a valve is fitted, and then a connecter that feeds a tube down under the skin, this tube usually goes down the back of the ear, down the neck, across too the middle of the chest and down to the abdomen, from what I remember the membrane that filters all of the badness from our vital organs also filters the spinal fluid to, scary as it sounds if it’s needed the do it, I feared this so much I made myself ill with worry so much so I lost a lot of weight very fast but stress does that, if I could turn back the clock my advice to myself would be not too fear the Shunt,

so here’s the fine print

•The Shunt is a lifetime thing,

•These are prone to get infected, but that doesn’t happen to all,

•These are known to block, or break,

• they can cause Seizures, again that’s not in everyone,

•if your child has a chiari then this isn’t to cure, it’s only to that the pressure off the brain,

yep it’s scary, it’s bloody terrifying, but I saw the change in my boy instantly, and as frightening as it was I would do it again because, well it saved his life, my son herniated out of his tummy scar so unfortunately was taken back to theatre the next day, again this doesn’t happen in all cases, my son strained a lot which makes no sense because of his bowel and bladder condition, but that’s why his scar popped,

I hope this helps

xxxxxxx this was cai 2 hours after surgery from abdomen re stitch, as you can see he doesnt look unhappy or in pain and well apart from 2 more scars its 2 more to add to the super hero collection

What is Spina Bifida

so Spina bifida…….

basically means that when you first become pregnant, i’m talking week 1 week 4 the fetus begins to develop, early on, usually leading up to week 4 the neural tube is created and closed, when Spina Bifida is present in a fetus this usually means that there is a defect present (the spine has not closed properly, or the neural tube hasn’t developed properly now depending on the form of (SB) depends on the defect,

a neural tube is the structure that when fully develops becomes the babies brain and spine, the cause of (SB) is unknown,

some say taking folic acid six months before you become pregnant/trying for a baby prevents it but this isn’t fact, me personally, i think if it’s going to happen it will happen like most things in life,

Approximately 90 percent of cases of spina bifida are detected with an ultrasound scan before 18 weeks of pregnancy. Other tests used to diagnose spina bifida are maternal blood tests which measure alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Caius has myelomeningocele Spina Bifida.

(SB) =Spina Bifida

now for the types of (SB)

•Occulta: this is the mildest form of Spina Bifida, many people can be born with this and not even know, this is the most common form of Spina Bifida.

•Closed neural tube defects: is the second type of Spina Bifida, this is where the spinal cord is marked by a malformation of fat,bone or membrane in some cases there are usually no symptoms in others there may be a bowel and bladder issue, or a paralysis issue,

•Meningocele is the third type (meninges) meaning the three protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, may not be covered by a layer of skin this is usually when the membranes push out from the spinal opening and may not be protected, there may be no symptoms or there could be similar symptoms to the second form of (SB)

•Myelomeningocele: is the fourth and most severe form of Spina Bifida, this occurs when the spinal cord shows through the opening of the spine, resulting in partial or complete paralysis of the parts below the spinal opening this most forms of this have some form of paralysis or weakened limbs below the spinal opening.