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 Attention all who have a Strata shunt!

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PostSubject: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:21 pm

:hello:

On December 1st I had my third shunt revision, so I'm onto my fourth shunt already. Previously, my three shunts have all been free flowing LP shunt. They have all ended up getting blocked which is why I've had revisions. So this time, on the a advice of Professor John Pickard, I was fitted with a strata valve shunt. I have never had one of these shunts before and have had it for nearly three weeks now. I wondered if anyone else had this shunt and would care to share their experiences (good or bad!) of living with this shunt? I understand there are 5 settings ranging from 2.5 to 0.5? My shunt was initially set to 2.5 however this made no difference to my headaches whatsoever so it was adjusted to 2. My headaches are a bit better but I think it would benefit me if I went down to the setting 1.5.

Hope to hear from some of you soon! x

:flower:
hug


Last edited by xmelissax on Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:27 pm

When I had this shunt fitted (which is my 9th), my Neurosurgeon was working on a shunt for IIH sufferers, because he said that usually the shunt settings were within the range for hydrocephalus. I couldn't tell you what the setting on mine is, only that he set it to what he thought it should be for IIH. I have to say though it's working brilliantly, and so far has been the best one I've had yet.Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:38 pm

:hello: It's nice to see you! I hope this finds you well Smile


That is awesome to hear! I am used to the free flowing shunts, with no valve, so this shunt is a bit of a change for me. From my understanding, the settings correspond with the resistance of the shunt, so for example if it is set to 2, the resistance for release of CSF is higher than say, 0.5. This is the first shunt revision I have had where my headaches haven't gone away straight after the surgery. I spoke to the rep at Medtronic and they said that it will take a lot of adjusting and maybe months to find the correct setting for me, as it is different for everyone.

Is the shunt you have currently a strata shunt? I know you have had a lot of surgeries bless you!
The fact your neurosurgeon was also working on a new shunt is very interesting, I'd love to hear about that if you hear any more about it dance

It's so nice to hear from you!

cheer
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:17 pm

Mine is a Codman Hakim Programmable valve with siphon guard. It's set at 90 mm. So far so good.
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:12 pm

I've never heard of that shunt before, but I am truly glad that it is serving you well! cheer

The shunts used in the hospital in charge of my treatment are made by a company called Medtronic, and I must admit that despite having four shunts, I know relatively little about shunts, valves and the way they work. This is my first valve and I'm not sure how long to give it before my body is used to the shunt. I had it adjusted a week ago and my headaches are still pretty bad. I got in touch with the hospital yesterday and they can see me in a couple of weeks at the earliest :frustrated So, I thought I would ask around the forums to see if anyone had the same shunt and if they could give me any idea as to how long it should take to get used to it!

Besides all that, I hope you are well Surprised)
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:03 am

From what I have read it takes weeks and weeks for your body to get used to the adjustments. I was thinking mine is set too low. I have only had it in for 6 weeks when the Neurosurgeon said that my body is still adjusting. Need to be patient. Yea, right. I cringe every time I sneeze because I know it will be giving me a brief headache.
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:27 am

Hi Wylee Smile

I am so sorry you are still having headaches!
bhug
I have only had mine for nearly four weeks in total, but I am positive it needs changing too, as like you, every time I sneeze, or stand up quickly, or anything like that, I get a massive high pressure headache. My neurosurgeon is on holiday this week (alright for some! LOL) but has agreed to see me next week, so hopefully he will change the setting so that more fluid is being drained.

Do you know what your shunt is set to and have you had it changed before? I would be really interested to hear all about it, if you would like to share. Is this your first valve shunt also?

I am sorry, I have so many questions Lol x

Take care and have a good evening and I hope your headaches don't get too bad Smile

:flower:
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:16 pm

Linda and Melissa, I hope they're able to find the right settings for you. I had my LP shunt before they had anything programmable, so after 10yrs I still get those instant pangs of pain (we lovingly refer to them as the POP) after a sneeze, cough, or any kind of strain. I've just chalked it up to shunt side effect, but nice to know I may be able to upgrade at some point!

Good luck ladies!!!
Take care,
Julie
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PostSubject: Re: Attention all who have a Strata shunt!   Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:39 pm

Thank you for the words of encouragement!

My mum and my family find it amazing I have such a piece of technology inside me, they find it mind boggling! Haha!

To be honest Julie, when I had my original non-programmable LP shunt, my headaches stopped about two days after surgery, and stayed away until my shunt got blocked. However with this programmable valve, the headaches have improved maybe 10% but they have not gone away instantly. I have been told it may take up to 6 months and numerous adjustments before they find the right setting! So in a way, I envy you! Very Happy

But you are right, upgrades are available! Haha! :lol: That made me laugh! Very Happy

Thanks for the support!

:flower:
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