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Shunts have been used to treat hydrocephalus for more than 50 years. The devices allow excess cerebrospinal fluid to drain to another area of the body.
A shunt usually consists of two catheters and a one-way valve. The valve regulates the amount, flow direction, and pressure of cerebrospinal fluid out of the brain’s ventricles.
As the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid inside the brain or spine increases, the one-way valve opens and the excess fluid drains to the downstream cavity.
Typically, the fluid gets “shunted” (moved) using the following shunt types:
There are various types of shunt valves. The two most common are:
Both of these valve types can include over-drainage protection in the form of a siphon control device. The purpose of this device is to minimise excessive drainage, due to gravity, when a person is in the upright position.
Patients & caregivers: This information is designed to provide you with helpful educational information but is for information purposes only, is not medical advice, and should not be used as an alternative to speaking with your doctor. No representation is made that the information provided is current, complete, or accurate. Medtronic does not assume any responsibility for persons relying on the information provided. Be sure to discuss questions specific to your health and treatments with a healthcare professional. For more information please speak to your healthcare professional.