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J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Dec;14(6):662-4. doi: 10.3171/2014.9.PEDS14171. Epub 2014 Oct 10.

Bucket and straw technique to facilitate passage of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt through the distal tunneling sheath.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa;


Placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) is a procedure comprising many small steps. Difficulties and delays can arise when passing the distal shunt tubing down the distal tunneling sheath during surgery. The authors of this report describe a simple technique for quickly passing the distal catheter of a VPS through the tunneler sheath, whereby the sheath is used as a fluid tube to allow the distal catheter to be drawn through the fluid tube under suction pressure. The plastic sheath that surrounds the shunt tunneler device is used as a fluid tube, or "straw," with the proximal aperture submerged into a bucket of sterile irrigation liquid containing the distal catheter. Suction pressure is placed against the distal aperture of the tunneler, and the shunt catheter is quickly drawn through the sheath. No special equipment is required. In time trials, the bucket and straw technique took an average of 0.43 seconds, whereas traditional passage methods took 32.3 seconds. The "bucket and straw" method for passing distal shunt tubing through the tunneler sheath is a technique that increases surgical efficiency and reduces manual contact with shunt hardware.


VPS = ventriculoperitoneal shunt; bucket and straw technique; catheter; hydrocephalus; ventriculoperitoneal shunt

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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