Shunt Placement Operations

The following brief descriptions of typical shunt placements can provide you with a general overview of the procedures for placing a VP or VA shunt.

There are two general approaches your neurosurgeon can take when it comes to placing the proximal catheter. The first, referred to as a posterior approach, is where the proximal catheter is inserted into the lateral ventricle from an opening the neurosurgeon makes at the back of your head. The other, referred to as a frontal approach, is where the neurosurgeon places the proximal catheter into the lateral ventricle from an opening made at the top of your head, just forward of one of the cranial sutures. The terms used for the different surgical approaches are in reference to the area of the brain the proximal catheter must pass to reach the ventricles.

Before beginning the procedure, your hair will be clipped or shaved to allow the neurosurgeon an unobstructed area for the operation. The amount of hair that is clipped away depends greatly on the type of operation being performed, and upon the personal preference of your neurosurgeon.