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Anyone with a shunt or DC with a shunt?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Does anyone on this forum have or have a child with a shunt and has it ever malfunctioned? What were the symptoms you or your child experienced and when did you call the neurosurgeon? How long between calling and shunt revision surgery? I am getting concerned about my DD, but am possibly just being paranoid. I certainly don't want to take her in for a sedated CAT scan unless I really think something is wrong.
post #2 of 9
I would imagine her head/neck would start to hurt from the CSF building up...
Best wishes!
post #3 of 9
Neither DC has a shunt, but I used to work for a pediatric neurosurgeon. First indicators of malfunction are usually headache, nausea & vomiting. I have also seen decreased appetites, vision changes, changes in personality, seizures, etc.

If you suspect a shunt malfunction, you should call the neurosurgeon immediately. Depending on your DC's medical status, they might be able to do the shunt series in radiology without sedation.

Also, you did not mention what kind of shunt your DC has, but if it is a reprogrammable shunt, they might just reprogram it in the office and not have to repeat surgery.
post #4 of 9
I agree with Anj. I would call the NS immediately. A malfunctioning shunt is not something you want to mess with. Better safe than sorry.

My daughter doesn't have a shunt, but I am on alot of Spina Bifida boards where there are kids with shunts.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think she is OK; no nausea, vomiting or head pain. She was just fussy and sleepy today and didn't eat well. She always has wacky eyes and they were particularly all over the place today, probably because she was sleepy. She has a reprogrammable VP shunt. I always worry about shunt malfunction whenever she begins to act a little different than normal. I know there can be many different neurological symptoms that can precede shunt malfunction. But I don't know what hers will be. I SO don't want to put her through any unnecessary procedures. I know her shunt was malfunctioning, her symptoms would get worse and she would begin to vomit and have head pain. I just worry all the time. She seemed OK tonight and ate her dinner. I think she's fine. Thanks for the replies!
post #6 of 9
Glad everything went well for you and your DD is feeling better. With the reprogrammable shunt, your neuro should be able to reprogram it in clinic (no pain, very easy, takes a minute) if you think it might be off in the future. I know we did it on several occasions when a patients symptoms did not warrant hospitalization. We also did it as a standard after an MRI.

I obsess about every symptom too, I think when they have gone through so much, we just want to spare them going through anything else.
post #7 of 9
My son has a VP shunt... he had an infection- and the signs of that were fever and extremeeeeeeeeee crying.

As for acting weird- with our son, I've noticed if there is some type of weather front coming it- he acts really off. The first time it happened, we almost rushed to the ER, but decided against it. We've now paired it with weather...

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
NAK- wow- i never thought the weather could have any impact, but that makes sense!
post #9 of 9
ang_rn gave you a good list of symptoms. I also always think of the eyes sunsetting meaning the child sort of is forced to look down towards the ground - can't keep her eyes looking straight forward.

Also, if you want a quick check of pressure inside the head you can try to get in to see your ophthalmologist. He can dilate the eyes to look for pressure on the optic nerve. It's certainly not as surefire as an MRI and if you have serious concerns you should definitely call the neurosurgeon, but I know I always find it reassuring when our ophthalmologist tells us that he see no pressure on my daughter's optic nerve.

Finally, yes, I swear when a big change in barometric pressure occurs my daughter gets all wonky.
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