Surgery: What to Expect — Implanting a Lumboperitoneal (LP) Shunt Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension


Any surgery carries some risk, but lumboperitoneal shunts have been used routinely to effectively treat IIH for many years.

Before the Procedure

The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia with sterile conditions in the operating room. Although the operation is short (often under an hour), careful preparation for the surgery adds extra time. In order to help prevent infection, part of the body may need to be shaved and the surgical area is washed with a special antibacterial soap. The patient is covered with sterile drapes, which maintain the sterile environment throughout the operation.

During the Procedure

To implant a lumboperitoneal shunt, an incision is made near the base of the spine, and a small catheter is inserted into the subarachnoid space of the lower spine. This is the same location where a lumbar puncture is taken. The proximal catheter (the catheter placed in the lumbar space) is attached to the valve, which is usually placed around the hip bone or rib cage. Finally, the distal catheter – the tube which moves fluid into the abdomen – is tunneled under the skin to the abdomen, where it is inserted in the abdominal cavity.

After the Procedure

Immediately after surgery, you will be taken to the post-anesthesia care unit. You’ll stay there for close observation for an hour or so and then be taken to your room. Most patients leave the hospital within 2 to 7 days, depending on their clinical progress.

Although this is the usual procedure when a shunt is placed, each individual may have a slightly different experience based upon their neurosurgeon, hospital, and their particular medical needs.

Strata NSC Lumboperitoneal shunt

Placement of the Strata NSC Lumboperitoneal
shunt to treat IIH.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.