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How long do ventriculoperitoneal shunts typically last?

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Quick Answer

Ventriculoperitoneal, or VP, shunts typically last 2 years for infants and 8 years or longer for adults and children older than 2 years, after which they require replacing, according to Healthline. Shunts need frequent monitoring and follow-ups to check for complications such as infection, mechanical failure and obstructions.

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Full Answer

Doctors surgically implant VP shunts in patients' brains to treat hydrocephalus, a medical condition where the cerebrospinal fluid accumulates excessively in the brain's ventricles, explains Healthline. The VP shunts reduce harmful pressure in the brain by diverting the excess cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, away from the ventricles and restoring the normal flow of CSF.

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