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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5660
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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My husband has had a codman hickman shunt placed on May 4th.

Customer Question

Hello, my husband has had a codman hickman shunt placed on May 4th. He did remarkably well, started walking better, urinary in continence seemed to be getting better too, all in all he seemed to be more alive, with it and not so confused. A week after the surgery in rehab he experienced a not being able to talk and his surgeon immediately had him have an MRI and there showed a sign of a build up of fluid on the left side of the brain. He turned the shunt up very high, more or less shutting it off. We had to wait for about 6 weeks for the excess fluid to be reabsorbed and gradually the shunt has been turned up to 100. The problem is that my husband is having problems walking again. He has been irritable, at times confused. This poor man of mine also has severe stenosis,severe nerve pain that runs down the front of his legs and has been receiving spinal steroid injections which we assured would not interfere with the shunt. This afternoon he is having a hard time walking. We will see our neurologist on Tuesday. What do you think is going on? I am feeling very unhappy with his condition as I know he is too. We are so disappointed as initially things were looking so good for him. Do you think it could be over drainage or under drainage or a blockage? We welcome any advise that you may give us, or questions that we can ask our neurologist. Many thanks,
Dale and Diane McGinley
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. David replied 11 months ago.

This is Dr. David

if his scan showed fluid building up in his brain or hydrocephalus, why did they shut the shunt off?

they should be increasing the flow of CSF fluid out of the brain to help take pressure off of the brain.

ask his doctors why this wasn't done?