A lumboperitoneal shunt is a device that diverts cerebrospinal fluid from the subarachnoid space to the abdominal cavity. This is done in patients who have problems reabsorbing cerebrospinal fluid and suffer from so-called benign raised intracranial pressure.
A general anaesthetic is given to the patient and the surgical sites are shaved and sterilised using antibacterial soap. A small incision is made at the base of the spine and a catheter is inserted up into the subarachnoid space in the lower spine. Another incision is made in the abdomen and a catheter is inserted into the abdominal cavity. The catheters are taken either along the hip bone or the rib cage and joined with a valve so that fluid can be moved into the abdomen. Some valves can be programmed to optimise flow of the CSF.