Ventriculoperitoneal Shunts, abbreviated as VP shunts are one of the most advanced treatments available for candidates suffering from hydrocephalus. The CSF or the cerebrospinal fluid, normally flowing through the brain ventricles may get leaked causing unwanted accumulation in the cavities, thereby causing additional pressure, a condition called hydrocephalus. The condition is mostly diagnosed with infants, children, and teenagers. VP shunt surgery is primarily performed to relieve such additional pressure. Approximately 160,000 VP shunts are performed every year worldwide and each VP shunt surgery cost varies from $30,000 to $50,000.

What is VP Shunt Surgery?

The accumulation of CSF causes excessive pressure buildup and may cause irrecoverable brain damage. The VP shunts are thereby implanted in order to re-direct the path of CSF so that normal circulation is restored and any further damage is prevented. The shunts are made up of silicone which is flexible enough to not cause any additional disturbance. It comprises of two slim catheters for draining the CSF and a valve for regulating the activities. The recovery period required for patients undergoing VP shunt surgery is approximately 3-4 days.

Ideal Candidate for VP Shunt Surgery

VP Shunt surgery is performed to relieve symptoms of hydrocephalus and are unresponsive to traditional or conservative treatments. Candidates who require VP shunt surgery are mostly the individuals who show signs of progressive hydrocephalus. Thus, individuals who are diagnosed with symptoms of:

  • Excessive fluid buildup in the cavities
  • Reduced absorption of the cerebrospinal fluid by the blood vessels
  • Cysts or blockages resulting from hydrocephalus
  • Persistent inflammation
  • Recurrent seizures

Factors affecting the cost of VP Shunt Surgery

VP shunt surgery cost depends on a number of factors. Besides, depending on the country where the procedure is performed, the other determining factors are:

  • Type of shunt used for the surgery
  • Quality and durability of the shunt
  • The complexity of hydrocephalus diagnosed
  • Healthcare facilities required
  • Follow up treatments necessary 
  • Other underlying issues affecting the same.
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