Lumbar-peritoneal shunt

If you have excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), our expert neurosurgeons can treat you with a lumbar peritoneal shunt


Hydrocephalus is the name given to a build-up of fluid on the brain. If left untreated, it can exert pressure on the brain and, in some cases, develop into a serious and potentially fatal condition. Our neurosurgeons can carry out a lumbar peritoneal shunt to drain the fluid so it doesn't pose a risk.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    A lumbar peritoneal shunt is a small device that aims to relieve pressure on the brain, caused by a build-up of fluid on the brain. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep. Your neurosurgeon will start by making a small incision in your lower back, before inserting a shunt (thin tube) into your spinal canal. The shunt will be joined to a one-way valve and then attached to another tube that travels under the skin to the abdomen. This allows the fluid on your brain to drain into a cavity in your abdomen, where it can reabsorb into your body naturally.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your neurosurgeon will explain your lumbar peritoneal shunt procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. As you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery. You may also be asked to attend a nurse led pre-assessment clinic. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After your lumbar peritoneal shunt, you'll be transferred to our recovery ward, where you’ll be looked after by a specialist team. Your neurosurgeon will explain your recovery time to you and when you can expect to get back to your usual routine.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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