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Thread: Shunt tap possibly performed wrong

  1. #1

    Exclamation Shunt tap possibly performed wrong

    First of all, I have pseudotumor cerebri. I also have a VP shunt. 2 days ago, my neurosurgeon suggested I go to the ER due to stomach pain, a low grade fever, and a headache. They did an ultrasound and said I had free flowing fluid in my upper right abdomen. The neurosurgeon said the fluid was the shunt draining outside my stomach. But he said it was normal. (I don't understand why they would tell me if it's normal). At this point I asked if the pain I'm having, which is on the left side, could maybe be the catheter rubbing against anything on the inside. (While looking online I thought that this is a common thing to happen) he said there is no chance it is that. The next day they wanted to do a shunt tap and inject dye into it. When it came time for them to do the procedure they said they ran out of dye so they are just going to measure the pressure and take a sample. While preparing for the tap I felt that he was so unprepared. He forgot gloves and the machine that measures the pressure. From my knowledge they stick the needle in the actual valve of the shunt. He stuck the needle into the spot where the tube goes into my brain. It made a lot of crunching sound (wether or not that's normal, I don't know) and it hurt which I expected but not nearly that bad. As he was performing the tap he was saying how he couldn't get any liquid. He had to poke around three times until he finically got "a small amount of very slow flowing" fluid. He said the pressure was so low that it wasn't being picked up by his equipment. Later after he was finished he said the pressure was 2.
    According to the neurosurgeons a pressure of 2 is "normal", when my pressure is 30 its "normal" but sometimes when it's 23 is "so high". To me, a pressure of 2 is very low. Even the neurosurgeon himself said 10-15 is normal range. But two isn't low?
    I asked before they tried to send me home if they are still going to do the test with the dye. He said the pressure showed that everything was working fine and there is no blockage. They don't need to check with dye. (If that's so why did they want to do it in the first place) everyone seemed in such a rush to send me home. I'm so upset with the treatment I got. I felt like nobody believed me. They sent me home with no tests done but a ultrasound and a shunt tap. The hospital called today asking if I got a ct scan when I was there. When I said no they seemed surprised and said if I still feel the same today come back. I need major advise. I'm freaking myself out

  2. #2

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    I am so very sorry this happened to you. Furthermore, I am surprised no one responded to your plea for help, here on this site (No affiliations. Just looking for help myself). I'm new here, and have grave concerns. I know it's been so very long, since your post, but I must know, how are you now? And, what did your (sounds like) unqualified doctor's do for you? I'm so very sad for you, and so very terrified for myself. My neurologist is saying I need a shunt for Pseudotumour Cerebri.

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