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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Brain Tumors

Question: Shunt Malfunction?

 suel100 - Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:25 pm

My daughter (age32) has VHL (von Hippels Lindau). She has 6 tumors in her brain, one of which was removed on September 25, 2007. Her recuperation was going seemingly well until 4 or 5 weeks post op. She woke up with a excruciating headache, double vision, vomiting and nausea. We rushed her to the ER (same hospital that did the surgery) and the CT scan and MRI did not show any shunt malfunction. They kept her for about a week and sent her home with these symptoms still presenting. She said the pain was tolerable while lying flat, she had extreme pain and pressure when she sat up or stood up. This went on for 3 to 4 weeks. Last Thursday 11/29/07, I took her to an appointed (not medical related) and she slumped in her seat, said the pain was unbearable and her vision was very blurred. I took her to ER again asking them to check her shunt and again the CT scans are not showing any malfunction. She is in the hospital now, they are running tests but are adamant it is not. What should we do?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:19 pm

User avatar Hi Suel100,

It may actually be that the shunt is working too well. Her symptoms, particularly since they are worse when sitting up, can potentially be explained by the shunt allowing too much spinal fluid to drain off.

I would recommend you discuss this possibility with her neurosurgeon.

If it were a problem with too much pressure (which occurs most commonly with a shunt malfunction) the CT scans would likely have shown some indication of this.

Best wishes.

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