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Post-operative complications associated in patients with spina bifida: an analysis of shunted patients


All Spina Bifida patients with Myelomeningocele require specialty care from Orthopaedics, Neurology, Urology, GI and Plastics. A high percentage of these patients require surgery as a treatment modality. This outcome research study illustrated increased compilations post surgery in Myelomeningocele patients with VP shunts compared to the general Spina Bifida population with non-existing VP shunts. The special focus is on VP shunt placement for Hydrocephalus and/or Arnold Chiari Malformations. Although this specific patient population may require surgical intervention, it is crucial for surgeons to recognize and anticipate the potential complications involved.

Materials and methods

70 patients with Spina Bifida and shunted hydrocephalus were evaluated who had undergone GU, GI, Neurosurgical and Orthopaedic procedures


There are 44 patients with complications that had undergone procedures involving the abdominal cavity and/or spinal corrections. The lower extremity cases did not have postoperative complications. The majority of the complications -80% were shunt related.


Often the shunt malfunction or infection is not readily appreciated by caretakers outside the medical center and may be subtle such as malaise, poor appetite, low grade temp, etc. At times a shunt function test may not be abnormal. It is statistically significant to appreciate the potential for shunt malduction early in these patients and treat them accordingly to prevent morbidity such as herniation, and death

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Correspondence to Eliana D Delgado.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Delgado, E.D., Franco, G.C. & Pearson, C. Post-operative complications associated in patients with spina bifida: an analysis of shunted patients. Fluids Barriers CNS 2 (Suppl 1), S45 (2005).

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