The use of laparoscopy-assisted placement of the distal catheter of a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt has been well described in the literature, and several advantages of laparoscopy over laparotomy have been documented.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the charts of 11 consecutive children with hydrocephalus of various origins who underwent surgery for initial VP shunt placement or for revision of an existing VP shunt system between July 1, 2006, and December 31, 2006. The peritoneal catheter in all of these cases was implanted using a laparoscopic procedure and with the aid of a pediatric general surgeon. Laparoscopy-assisted placement of the distal catheter was successful in all patients. There were no periprocedural complications. There was one complication, an incisional hernia, noted in the short-term follow-up period.
The authors illustrate that laparoscopy-assisted implantation of a peritoneal catheter is a safe, effective, minimally invasive, and technically easy approach for VP shunt placement or revision in children. It allows accurate placement of the distal catheter in the peritoneal cavity, enables retrieval of fractured catheter segments, and allows confirmation of the patency of the shunt system.