Aug 31, 2011
I have an appointment with a new neuro surgeon, Dr. Michael Turner MD at Methodist, an Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis Indiana. He's a Dr that another very close, local IH friend see's. She has had great results with him, he's a SHUNT GURU! I'm excited and nervous at the same time.
My records were all sent down before my appointment and he had reviewed them beforehand. When I got there and checked in for the appointment, right away the receptionist took the CD of my latest MRI and uploaded it to the computer. Having never been there before, we were 45 minutes early. We waited a bit, but they took me right back to a room. I had already been told what to expect with this Dr. He's very fast and to the point. Had I not known things about this Dr beforehand I might of thought he was VERY cocky... He introduces himself, and asks why I'm here. I told him a tidbit of my story, most recent surgeries with brain shunt and new lumbar shunt. He had already looked over records and MRI, and says to me, " I can restore for you a working programmable brain shunt! And you have Chiari... WHY do you have a lumbar shunt?"
He said that there is a newer procedure that a handful of neuro surgeons are doing for people with Slit Ventricle Syndrome, and he is one of those surgeons. They place the tubing in the back of the brain near the brain stem instead of in the already collapsed ventricle where it's at right now. Scary thought~ near my brain stem... But I'm desperate to get this lumbar shunt out of me. It has caused me more problems than I can even tell you... (That's a whole different post!) I love the idea of a "Programmable" brain shunt. That way I wont have to have surgery just to have it adjusted!
Dr Turner wants me to get x-rays, they do them right in his office. He wants to see the shunts and the tubing that goes along with them. He comes back into the room after I had them done. He wants to examine my abdomen. I get up on the table and I had him feel my lumbar shunt that sits right above my left hip. It's VERY superficial, and VERY uncomfortable. You can feel it through the skin. He agrees to take that shunt out, and it's tubing. He says I need to see what's going on over here, and is pointing to my drain that co-insides with my brain shunt. He feels around it & says I think you have a mass around the draining tube... It appears I have developed a pseudomeningocele at the draining port of my brain shunt. I told him that I had just talked to my neurologist about it and she wanted me to get a CT scan to see whats going on there. He said that's great! Get the CT scan and I want the CD on the day of surgery so he knows what he's looking at. I also have a ton of scar tissue in my abdomen from all the previous surgeries.
So we then talk about the actual surgery. He's going to put in a Codman Programmable brain shunt. The last programmable shunt I had was a lumbar shunt. A programmable brain shunt can sit/rest on the skull, and not move... A programmable lumbar shunt has nothing to sit/rest on, therefore moving, twisting, or flipping over in my case, causing all kinds of problems. He will use the same incision, same access whole, same site as my current brain shunt. Which is just great news! The tubing will just travel to the brain stem instead of through the collapsed ventricle where is currently resides. While he's got my third ventricle opened up, to remove current shunt tubing, he will take a closer at the Colloid Cyst that's blocking the ventricle. And decide if it is what's causing my ventricles to collapse... He's going to remove my NEW lumbar shunt and tie off the tubing that goes to my spine. He will be leaving the actual tubes in my spine, he said it's too risky to remove either one of them, unless one of them causes a problem. But he will be removing the tubing from BOTH lumbar shunts from my abdominal cavity. And he will be opening up the tube from my brain shunt that drains in my abdomen to fix whatever is going there.
As of right now this is scheduled October 13th for an inpatient one night stay. But depending on the severity of the abdominal scar tissue and tubing issues, it might turn into a two night stay.