Management of trans-anal extrusion of distal ventriculoperitoneal shunt catheter in children

Rajendra K. Ghritlaharey


Background: The objectives of this study were to review the demographics, clinical characteristics, surgical procedures executed, and the outcome of children operated upon for trans-anal extrusion of the distal VPS (ventriculoperitoneal shunt) catheter.

Methods: Case records of children under 12-years, operated upon for the trans-anal extrusion of the distal VPS catheter, were reviewed in detail.

Results: This study comprised of, n=25 children and included, n=14 boys and, n=11 girls. The interval from the primary VPS insertion/VPS revision to the diagnosis of trans-anal extrusion of the distal VPS catheter ranged from 2 to 49-months, with a mean of 10.04 (11.58 SD/ months. Clinically, all children presented with trans-anal extrusion of the distal VPS catheter. None of them had clinical features of peritonitis, intestinal obstruction, or meningitis. Operative procedures performed in the following order of frequency; (a) removal and immediate revision of the peritoneal/distal VPS catheter n=15 (60%), (b) removal of entire VPS catheter and delayed re-VPS insertion n=4 (16%), (c) removal of peritoneal/distal VPS catheter, external ventricular drainage (EVD) followed by delayed re-VPS insertion n=3 (12%), (d) removal of entire VPS catheter and immediate re-VPS insertion n=1 (4%) and (e) removal of entire VPS catheter alone n=2 (8%).                          

Conclusions: Trans-anal extrusion of the distal VPS catheter is well-known, but rare complication of the VPS insertion done in children. In sixty percent of children, removal and immediate revision of the peritoneal/distal VPS catheters were done safely by mini-laparotomy. During the management, formal abdominal explorations were neither executed nor required in any case.


Children, Complication, Extrusion, Hydrocephalus, Infants, Shunt revision, Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

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