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Pediatr Surg Int. 2007 Jun;23(6):575-80. Epub 2007 Mar 27.

Trans-anal protrusion of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt catheter with silent bowel perforation: report of ten cases in children.

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Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College and Associated, Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals, Bhopal, MP, 462 001, India.


Ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunting used in the treatment for hydrocephalus is associated with several complications. Mechanical failure of shunt is the commonest complication of all. Visceral/bowel perforation is an unusual but serious complication of VP shunting. This article reports our experience in the management of ten children who had VP Shunt catheter protrusion from anus. This is a retrospective study of ten patients who had VP shunt catheter protrusion from anus, admitted in the department of paediatric surgery between Jan 1996 and Dec 2005. The records of above ten cases were reviewed for their clinical presentation and management, etc. We had performed 398 VP shunt operations in the last 10 years. Two hundred and seventy one (68.09%) VP Shunts were done for congenital hydrocephalus of which 164 were done in infancy/neonatal period and 107 VP shunts were done in the age group of >1-12 years. One hundred and twenty-seven (31.90%) VP shunt operations were done for patients who had hydrocephalus as a complication following tubercular meningitis (TBM). Out of 398 VP shunts, ten patients (2.51%) had protrusion of the distal end of peritoneal catheter from anus without causing/leading to peritonitis. We observed a 08.29% mortality of all VP shunt operations. Protrusion of VP shunt catheter per rectum can occur without producing peritonitis. Formal exploration and localization of entry of VP shunt catheter in bowel is not mandatory. Mini laparotomy and revision of peritoneal part of shunt can be done if there is no shunt infection.

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