Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Placement

Care After

ExitCare ImageRefer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your caregiver may also give you more specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your caregiver if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.


  • For 2 weeks, do not soak the incision site under water. Swimming and baths should be avoided. Showers are okay, but rinse off the incision sites.

  • Do not overexert yourself. Your system needs time to adjust to the ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt.

  • If you have a programmable shunt and need a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, it is very important that you see your surgeon to have your shunt reprogrammed immediately. Many programmable shunts are sensitive to magnets.


  • There is any drainage from the incision site.

  • The incision site starts to get red.

  • The incision site opens up.

  • Your symptoms return. The shunt may have gotten obstructed and may not be working.

  • You have any signs or symptoms of shunt malfunction. In an adult, this may include:

  • Headaches.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Fever.

  • Swelling along the VP shunt path.

  • Vision changes.

  • Your child has any signs or symptoms of shunt malfunction. In an infant, this may include:

  • A swollen or raised soft spot.

  • Fussiness, irritability, or a high-pitched cry.

  • Feeding problems.

  • The head getting bigger. This may occur in very young babies.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.