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Old 06-04-2011, 01:49 PM #1
cr0604 cr0604 is offline
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Default 8 month old just received a shunt - question

Hello there...I was wondering if someone could answer this question for me. My 8-month old son had shunt surgery 4 days ago. We took off the bandages last night and I was a little stunned at the size of the bump. Is there usually swelling after the surgery or will it stay like this? Does the bump appear smaller after time or will it appear smaller as he gets older? Any help is appreciated...Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:11 PM #2
annakkro annakkro is offline
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Hi there. I saw your question a couple of days ago and have been thinking a lot about it. I had a shunt placed at 6 weeks old. I talked to my mom about it and she said that at first the site of the shunt was a little alarming. She said all you could see when you looked at me was the shunt, and a huge incision. But eventually babies get more hair and it becomes pretty hidden depending on the place of the shunt. In fact, I think for almost everyone with a shunt, unless you felt their head, you wouldn't know they had a shunt. This past year (I'm 26 now) I had a shunt replaced. The neurosurgeon put it in a different ventricle and the other side of my head completely. Now, instead of it being in the back of the right of my head, it's in the front on the left side. If I had thin hair you might be able to notice. I guess what i'm trying to convey is that, there may be some slight swelling from the surgery, but for the most part, a shunt causes a bump because the valve is outside the skull, and there is a chance that it might be noticeable later on, however I have learned (more times than I'd like) that I cannot live without this seemingly simple but incredible device. So having a bump on my head seems like a comparatively small price to pay, at least that is the perspective I have gained. I think this is probably a hard time for you and your family, and I hope this is helpful.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:30 AM #3
cr0604 cr0604 is offline
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Thanks so much for your reply. It was very helpful. I think the alarming factor was that we were not prepared for it. This is my son's 5th surgery (the first 4 were embolizations for an AV malformation). So, it has been quite the stressful 8 months! The shunt surgery kind of came on quickly and wasn't really expected. I know that a bump on his head is small in comparison to the alternative. I just worry about him being able to lead a normal life, I don't want people to look at him differently...just the a natural protective response. I read posts from people like you and realize that that's all it is, a bump on his head Again, thank you...and I hope all is well with you.
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