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Surg Endosc. 1999 Oct;13(10):1007-9.

A laparoscopic approach to ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement in adults.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Lankenau Hospital, 100 Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19090, USA.



Ventriculoperitoneal shunts have been used for the treatment of hydrocephalus for years. In the past, the abdominal portion of this technique has required mini-laparotomy. We present a series of 10 consecutive patients in which ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunts were placed with laparoscopic assistance.


At Lankenau Medical Center for July 1996 to January 1998, 10 patients (aged 22-81) with normopressure hydrocephalus underwent laparoscopic VP shunt placement. The neurologic portion of the procedure is begun simultaneously with the abdominal procedure. After pneumoperitoneum is established using a miniport disposable 2-mm introducer at the umbilicus, a 2-mm camera is introduced into the peritoneal cavity through the same port. A needle is introduced into the peritoneal cavity under direct visualization. Once the catheter is placed ventricularly, it is tunneled subcutaneously to the abdomen. Using the Seldinger technique, the VP catheter is introduced under direct visualization through a sheath into the peritoneal cavity toward the pelvis. Positioning and function are also confirmed under direct visualization.


All patients tolerated this procedure well, and there were no complications. The benefits of this procedure include direct visualization of catheter placement and smaller incisions than necessary for an open procedure.


We recommend laparoscopic-assisted placement of the VP shunt in normopressure hydrocephalus patients as a good alternative to the open technique.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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