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J Pediatr Surg. 2011 Nov;46(11):2146-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2011.07.001.

The use of laparoscopy in ventriculoperitoneal shunt revisions.

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  • 1The Division of Pediatric General Surgery, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3H 1P3.



Ventriculoperitoneal shunts (VPSs) are routinely placed in children with hydrocephalus. However, they often encounter problems, and revisions are frequent. We sought to evaluate our institutional experience with laparoscopic-assisted VPS revisions.


With institutional review board approval, a retrospective chart review of 17 consecutive patients who underwent 19 laparoscopic-assisted VPS revisions was conducted. Data extracted included patient demographics, indications for laparoscopic-assisted revision, complications, and shunt outcomes.


The median age at revision was 12 years (0.4-20 years). Ten children (58.8%) had 2 or more previous VPS revisions. Indications for laparoscopic revision included adhesive obstruction, broken shunt retrieval, cerebrospinal fluid pseudocyst, diagnostic laparoscopy, and conversion from ventriculoatrial shunt to VPS. Three patients required repeat VPS revision for distal shunt failure, whereas 2 patients required repeat VPS revision for proximal dysfunction. Failures occurred 5 to 258 days after laparoscopic-assisted revision. Median follow-up was 21 weeks (interquartile range, 6-57 weeks). No patients developed abdominal infections postoperatively.


Laparoscopy is useful in select patients with distal VPS failure. Patients with multiple previous revisions, prior abdominal surgery, previous intraperitoneal infections, broken devices, or cerebrospinal fluid pseudocysts may benefit from this approach. Further prospective studies with long-term follow-up are needed to determine which patients benefit most from the laparoscopic-assisted approach.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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