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J Med Life. 2009 Oct-Dec;2(4):426-36.

Laparoscopic treatment of abdominal complications following ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

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St. Pantelimon Clinical Emergency Hospital, Department of General Surgery, Bucharest, Romania.


The aim of this study is the evaluation of laparoscopic treatment in abdominal complications following ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt.


We report a retrospective study including 17 patients with abdominal complications secondary to VP shunt for hydrocephalus, laparoscopically treated in our department, between 2000 and 2007.


Patients' age ranged from 1 to 72 years old (mean age 25.8 years old). Male: female ratio was 1.4. Abdominal complications encountered were: shunt disconnection with intraperitoneal distal catheter migration 47.05% (8/17), infections 23.52% (4/17) such as abscesses and peritonitis, pseudocysts 11.76% (2/17), CSF ascites 5.88% (1/17), inguinal hernia 5.88% (1/17), and shunt malfunction due to excessive length of intraperitoneal tube 5.88% (1/17). Free-disease interval varies from 1 day to 21 years, depending on the type of complication, short in peritoneal irritation syndrome and abscesses (days) and long in ascites, pseudocysts (months-years). Laparoscopic treatment was: extraction of the foreign body in shunt disconnection with intraperitoneal distal catheter migration, evacuation, debridement, lavage and drainage for pseudocysts, abscess and peritonitis, shortening of the tube in shunt malfunction due to excessive length of intraperitoneal tube and hemioraphy. One diagnostic laparoscopy was performed in a peritoneal irritation syndrome, which found only CSF ascites. There were no conversions to open surgery. The overall mortality was of 5.88% and postoperative morbidity was of 11.76%. In 7 patients operated for abscesses, peritonitis, pseudocysts, and CSF ascites the shunting system was converted in to a ventriculocardiac shunt.


Abdominal complication following VP shunt can be successfully performed laparoscopically. Abdominal surgery required, in selected cases, the repositioning of the distal catheter, frequently as a ventriculocardiac shunt. There are abdominal complications with no indication of surgery, like peritoneal irritation syndrome and CSF ascites. Free-disease interval varies from days (peritoneal irritation syndrome, abscesses) to month-years (pseudocyst, ascites), according to type of complication.


CSF ascites; CSF pseudocyst; abdominal complication; laparoscopy; ventriculoperitoneal shunt

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