VP Shunt: Exploring the Life-Saving Treatment

A Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is a surgical procedure that involves the placement of a tube or catheter in the brain to drain excess Cerebro Spinal Fluid (CSF) from the ventricles of the brain to the abdominal cavity. This is a common treatment for hydrocephalus, a condition characterized by an excessive accumulation of CSF in the brain, which can lead to increased pressure and potential brain damage. Medical News Today states that according to the Hydrocephalus Association, over 1 million people in the United States have the condition.

Companies like Medditour connect the patients seeking treatments for hydrocephalus with the international hospitals and facilitators for quality treatments with no time delay.

In this article, we will discuss when VP shunts are done, their significance, the procedure involved, and how it can benefit medical tourism.

When is VP shunt done?

VP shunts are typically performed when there is an excessive buildup of CSF in the brain, leading to increased pressure and potential brain damage. This can occur due to various conditions such as hydrocephalus, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, or infection.

Hydrocephalus is the most common indication for VP shunt placement. This condition can be present at birth or develop later in life, and it is characterized by the accumulation of excess CSF in the brain due to impaired absorption or obstruction of its normal flow.

In cases where hydrocephalus is not treated promptly, it can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

Significance of VP shunt

The benefits of VP shunt surgery include:

  • Relief of Symptoms: VP shunt placement can help alleviate symptoms associated with hydrocephalus, such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and changes in vision or balance.
  • Improved Quality of Life: By reducing the pressure on the brain, VP shunt surgery can improve the quality of life for individuals with hydrocephalus or other related conditions.
  • Prevention of Brain Damage: Left untreated, hydrocephalus can lead to permanent brain damage or even death. VP shunts help to prevent this from happening.
  • Low Risk: VP shunt surgery is a low-risk procedure with a high success rate. Complications are rare, and most patients experience relief from their symptoms.

How is VP shunt done?

VP shunt surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and involves several steps.

  • Incision: An incision is made in the scalp and a small hole is drilled in the skull to access the ventricles of the brain.
  • Placement of Catheter: A thin, flexible catheter is inserted into the ventricles of the brain and threaded through the brain tissue to the abdominal cavity.
  • Placement of Valve: A one-way valve is attached to the catheter, which allows CSF to flow out of the brain but prevents it from flowing back in.

  • Placement of Reservoir: A small reservoir is placed under the skin behind the ear, which allows doctors to access the shunt system for adjustments or CSF sampling.
  • Closure: The incision is closed with sutures or staples, and a sterile dressing is applied.

Frontiers states that currently, the ventriculoperitoneal shunt is a commonly used shunt configuration, with a success rate of up to 80% (810). 

Medical tourism and VP shunt

VP shunt surgery can be a significant benefit to medical tourism, as it offers patients access to high-quality medical care at a lower cost than they might find in their home country. Patients who require VP shunt surgery can travel to destinations such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, and Dubai, where they can receive treatment from highly trained medical professionals at a fraction of the cost of similar procedures in the United States or Europe.

Additionally, companies like Medditour provide opportunities to patients seeking VP shunt surgery to combine their treatments there with vacation, which could help them, relax at exotic destinations after the treatment. Stress-relief would offer them a way to recover quickly.

In conclusion, VP shunt surgery helps to drain CSF from the ventricles of the brain and saves the patient from brain damage and / or death. Medical tourism plays a vital role in helping the patients receive the VP shunt treatment at affordable prices with no delay in time.

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