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Ventriculoperitoneal VP Shunt Placement

Most patients will be able to return to a fairly normal level of activity following surgery. We ask that you adhere to the activity restrictions described, as well as note some of the other care instructions. We value your health, well-being and comfort.

Activity Restrictions

  • Activity is the most important measure you can take to prevent complications and to begin to feel like yourself again. Walking is a good exercise. Go for at least four short walks a day, even if inside your home.
  • Avoid pushing/pulling and lifting over 15 lbs. for four weeks.
  • Do not participate in sports or physical education activities for four weeks.
  • Do not drive for two weeks, if you periodically feel disoriented or if you have had any pain medication within four hours. You may ride in a car as a passenger as much as you can tolerate.

Dressing Removal and Wound Care

  • Monitor your incisions for any significant swelling, redness or drainage and notify us promptly if you notice any of the above.
  • You may be discharged from the hospital with a dressing over the incision. We ask you remove the dressing within one to two days following your surgery.
  • You will have either staples or sutures. We will usually remove these within 7- 10 days following surgery.
  • Keep your incision clean and dry.

Showering and Bathing

  • You may shower within five days of your procedure. We ask that you refrain from soaking in a bathtub, hot tub or pool for the first two weeks. Do not rub the incision.
  • You may wash your hair with a mild shampoo (Baby Shampoo) 24 hours after your sutures are removed.
  • Do not rub the incision.
  • DO NOT use a hair dryer after washing your hair and do not brush your hair away from the incision since this will put strain on the suture line.

Eating and Drinking
You may resume a normal diet following your procedure. Refrain from alcoholic beverages especially while taking pain medication.

Medication

  • You may resume your usual medications immediately after surgery, with the exception of any blood-thinning agents, anti-inflammatory agents and aspirin based products. Blood thinning agents such as coumadin, plavix, heparin and aggrenox may usually be restarted within five days of surgery. We will specify when it is okay to resume these medications.
  • Pain medication such as Percocet will be prescribed prior to discharge. You may use Extra Strength Tylenol for less severe pain.

Smoking
Smoking delays the healing process thus we ask that you refrain from smoking.

Return to Work
Dr. Amini will inform you when you can return to work. It usually occurs between the second and fourth week with increasing work hours.

Special Instructions

  • In the future, if you require an MRI of your brain, you must always get a skull x-ray, before and after, the MRI. This is done to make sure that the MRI does not affect your shunt.
  • In the future, if you require an MRI for any reason please contact our office we might need to reprogram your VP-Shunt.
  • In the future, if you ever require dental work or any other type of procedure that involves making an opening in the skin (for example surgery), you will have to take antibiotics before your the procedure. This is done to prevent shunt infection. Make sure you relay this information to the person doing your dental work or surgery. They will give you a prescription for an antibiotic or, you may call Dr. Amini's office for a prescription.

Office Follow-Up
We recommend regular office follow up visits following your procedure. We recommend follow-up visits at four weeks, three months and six months after surgery. If you develop any new signs or symptoms before a scheduled follow-up and need to be seen, please contact our office.

Please call your surgeon if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • confusion, fainting, blacking out, extreme fatigue, memory loss, or difficulty speaking
  • double, or blurred vision, or partial or total loss of vision
  • fever with a temperature greater than 101.5 degrees F
  • severe headache or change in headache
  • significant redness, swelling or drainage from the incision site
  • significant clear fluid drainage from the incision site

NOTE: If you are unable to reach our office and have noticed any of the above conditions, please report to the nearest Emergency Room for prompt medical attention.

 

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