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Old 06-16-2009, 08:26 PM
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shunt replacement always needed?


I'm not sure if I have the right area to post this question, but it is kinda' related to the surgery stuff.
At 2 weeks old, I had a shunt put in when I developed hydroencephilitis after having menningitis (which is where I developed seizures). Everyone who has asked me about when I had the shunt replaced (including physicians) looks at me in disbelief when I tell them "never". My mother told me that "they put enough tubing in you just in case you ever got to be a 6 foot-er." I'll admit, at only 27" long at birth, I don't know where the surgeons would've found room for enough extra tubing as I grew to never have to do surgery again! I'm just wondering...am I just a one time luck of the draw, if you will, with this, or has anyone else gone through their whole life so far (I'm 37) without having need for shunt replacement?
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:13 PM
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There was


a guy that used to be on this board that had had to have the shunt in his head replaced several times. I've always known people to have to have their shunts replaced at some point in their lives at least a few times.

I would say that you are one LUCKY person to never had to have had to go through the process of replacing the shunt. And your doctors must have been pretty darn smart, and laid things out really well so you didn't have to do that. WOOHOO!!!! I say......
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:05 AM
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I was also curious (I forgot to include this the first time) has anyone else ever outgrown the need for their shunt? Many physicians have also looked puzzled when I tell them I haven't used the thing in 29 years. When I was about 8, I and my mother noticed a squishing sound when we'd push it (apparently, my parents were told to push it twice a day). Not knowing what to make of it, we went to a neurosurgeon who did several X-rays, and told us that I didn't need it anymore (although it's still in there...I was never thrilled about having another scar on me, and what-not!). Apparently the natural fluid drainage area in my neck had opened up.
Is this just another luck of the draw thing, or has anyone else outgrown the need for theirs?
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:29 AM
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I would


say that's pure luck, and be happy with it.... I truly have never heard of such a thing... at least in regards to a shunt...

Last edited by Meetz1064; 06-17-2009 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:48 AM
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It is possible for newborns to have organs/parts that didn't form 100% correctly in utero and which do "catch up" and attain normal growth/function in a year or so. One of my sons had a low grade kidney reflux that he outgrew.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:54 AM
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That is


a good point, Mr B. ..both of my sons had problems with their hearts, and the one who had the hole in his, had it grow shut. I think all that is left now is possibly a slight murmur....

Last edited by Meetz1064; 06-17-2009 at 08:55 AM. Reason: clarification of a thought
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:46 AM
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Talking


I had to have a shunt put in 2 days after my 13th birthday. I will be turning 28 in a few weeks. I have never had to have it replaced or adjusted either. In fact when I asked about it at around my 10 year anniversary, I was pretty much told 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'! I am monitored by a neurologist who has me get a CT at least once a year (usually twice) and MRI and EEG every other year. As well as whatever medical care I need given the circumstances of the moment. I am happy, healthy and almost fully functional (had a stoke prior to having shunt put in that left me with a left side weakness). But I am married, work full time and have completed a Masters degree. Nothing stopping me, though I do not take it for granted that I am well past the average life span age for a shunt and it could malfunction at any given time.
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