My husband is having surgery

As some of you may know, my husband is RickQ, a British doper who I met here on the board and then lured to America to marry me.

Rick has hydrocephalus and has a shunt in his skull (lying alongside his brain) that drains excess fluid into his abdomen. He has been lucky and has had few problems with it–including none of the cognitive problems that can accompany hydrocephalus.

Lucky, that is, until this week. He was having headaches so this morning we went to the ER. They confirmed his shunt is partially blocked and he needs surgery on it.

I am so frightened. The surgery will be either tonight or tomorrow. Please think good thoughts for him.

I’m sending good vibes to the two of you. I hope all goes well.

I’m sorry y’all are having to go through this. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Scary business indeed, Brynda. I’ll be praying that everything goes well for Rick.

I’m sure all will be fine. All my best thoughts are coming your way.

Here’s wishing comfort and courage to Brynda and Rick. I’ll be keeping both of you in my thoughts. As scary as things are right now, hang tough and believe the best will happen. It often does, you know.

We’re pulling for both of you. Please keep us informed if you have a spare moment, Brynda, but don’t forget to take care of yourself too.

All the best,

We regularly do X-ray shunt surveys, and sometimes the people have to go to the OR to get them moved/readjusted, etc.

I’ve never heard of anything bad as a result of that trip to the OR. In fact, every time we’ve done a post-op survey to verify placement, they’ve always been perfectly fine.

May your husband fare equally well.

Best wishes comin’ atcha.

i hope all will go smoothly. i’ll be thinking of y’all.

Thanks so much, everyone. We don’t have family or close friends in MI and right now it helps to not feel so alone in this.

The good news is that he is stable. Aside from the headaches and nausea that prompted this, he feels fine. The MDs say his ventricles seem enlarged and they can see that the abdominal end of his shunt is partially occluded. Based on that, they will do surgery on the abdominal end first. If the shunt seems to flow freely then, the surgery is over. If not, that means there is a problem at the cranial end of the shunt and they will have to replace the shunt in his skull.

Rysdad, it is very good to hear from someone who works in this field that these surgeries tend to go well. I am pretty scared right now and that is exactly the kind of thing I need to hear.

I will print this thread and take it to Rick tomorrow. I am sure he will appreciate the good thoughts as much as I do.

Best wishes to you and Rick. {{{ hugs }}}

Brynda, I do hope Rick will have a speedy recovery! I will be thinking good, healing thoughts and sending them your way.

Brynda, thank goodness you lured this poor unwitting British male into such good hands.

I’m not able to get any substantial links going right now but please check into a neurosurgeon named Jan Kajar.

This doctor is one of my all time heroes. He has singlehandedly upturned the entire apple cart of brain trauma protocol. He has defied every conventional “wisdom” gathered over the decades about how to treat “water on the brain” as results from brain injury.

Please do some immediate research on this man and his work to check if your husband’s doctors are following any of his protocol. They detailed a young boy whose skull was crushed after being run over by a car. With a near “zero” prognosis, this child is up and running about with unslurred speech today.

Again, this is one person I truly admire. All of the information the PBS show I watched about him seemed well in order and made perfect sense when taken as a whole. I’ll try to do some investigation into it tomorrow and return to this thread. Kajar’s work could possibly make a world of difference for your husband.

You must know that I wish you both only the very best and hope that all turns out well.

Here is a toll free number. I do not know if they will be able to tell you about Kajar, but it is free and worth a try.

Toll Free: 1.866.88.Brain

Here is the toll free number for a brain injury law firm that might have leads:


To add:

Kajar refuted the conventional wisdom about depriving a patient of fluid immediately after a brain trauma. They have always thought it best to minimize fluid intake to prevent additional swelling of the brain.

Kajar showed that maintaining proper fluid intake prevented embolism formation and if a shunt was immediately installed that necrosis and other damage was dramatically reduced.

I hope this helps. I’m trying to jam in these posts before the boards close.

Best to both of you.

Best wishes for a successful operation and a speedy recovery. We’re pulling for you.

Thanks, guys. I haven’t talked to the nurses yet this AM (it is change of shift, apparently) but they called at 2AM to say he was changing rooms, so I assume if anything was worse, they would have called. At least I hope so.

Zenster, thanks for the concern, but Rick didn’t (thank goodness) have a traumatic brain injury. He was born with hydrocephalus and had a shunt placed when he was 3 weeks old. What they are doing now is revising his shunt because it doesn’t seem to be working properly.

Brynda, I understand the difference but remain concerned that doctors may be following old protocols. One of the principal points Kajar made during the PBS show was the intense resistance exhibited by the established medical community to his new ideas. It’s for that reason I am concerned about something being overlooked.

I took the time this morning to read through the only article I could find about Kajar and finally got a link to his group, The Brain Trauma Foundation. The only reason I persist in bringing this up is that Kajar was one of the most vocal to mandate the prompt use of shunts in treatment for the hydroencephalitis that commonly accompanies cerebral perfusion. They may have information on installation, placement or other procedural methods that might apply to your husband’s situation.

Again, please know that you two are in my thoughts and I wish only the very best.

If you’re looking for online support, i know of a yahoo group that has quite a few members have shunts (associted wtih high CSF pressure due to chiari malformation)

you can find it at

a lot of the posts wouldn’t be of interest to you, but if you post what you posted here you’ll find lots of people respond with support and advice.