Posted at 1:31 PM on 5/27/2011
Even though shunts save lives, they can still come with complications, as any permanent foreign implant inside of our bodies would.
In my experience the symptoms of shunts over draining or under draining are very similar. Sometimes an over draining shunt will not be obvious in scans or a shunt x ray series, which is why it is good to know what to look for.
Typical symptoms of both over draining and under draining shunts in my experience have been:
Head pain around the shunt valve
Vomiting (tends to be projectile in an under draining shunt)
In an under draining shunt you may experience:
Feeling of head being under pressure
In an over draining shunt you may also experience:
Shunt valve vibration or buzzing–this has been explained to me as the shunt sucking up air instead of fluid.
Headaches worse when standing or sitting up that are relieved when lying flat.
What have you dealt with with your shunt malfunction?
Posted at 1:38 PM on 5/27/2011
I never knew what the buzzing was all about. That makes sense to me now. Thank you.
Posted at 2:41 PM on 5/27/2011
I would say that you have the effects correct. I have had both overdraining and undraining in my shunts. I have hydrocephalus and arachnoid cysts, have had both shunts and fenestrations. My shunt now drains to my atrium heart chamber and when mine malfunctions the only thing to add to the list is palpitations/irregular heart beats.