Differences Among Shunts

Not all shunts are created equal. How are you, as the patient, to know which shunt valve has tested better, is more reliable, and is best for you? Choose a good neurosurgeon and trust his recommendations. However, this does not mean that you have to be in the dark about which shunt is recommended for you or how it works. Being informed, able to visualize how the shunt works, and able to ask questions about it helps many people relax, trust, and get on with treatment. Your neurosurgeon may have samples of the shunts he recommends. You can ask to see models in order to understand how the shunt will operate.

Check with your neurosurgeon to see what type of shunt will be used (e.g., flow-control, anti-siphoning, programmable, etc.) and who manufactures it. Although your neurosurgeon will keep records of the type of shunt valve you have, knowing this information can be useful later in case of an emergency.

Shunts can vary by the materials they are made of and standards they are manufactured under, as well as by their features.