Saw NS yesturday...Shunt into lung?

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Saw NS yesturday...Shunt into lung?

Postby VickinBryan » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:48 am

Hi everyone. I saw my NS yesturday, and he showed me on the MRI the worst part of the syrinx...there is barely any visible spinal cord left. He wants to do surgery, told me I couldn't "sit on this". He told me bout the shunt...but said he thinks I might have scaring or that a word..."arachoid?" anyways...that might make the shunting harder...if that is the case he might have to route it into my lung....anyone ever hear of the shunt emptying into a lung?? I have an 8 month old daughter as well....would you sit on this for a while...just to give her more time to grow up...or would you have the surgery so you could move on???
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Postby the 4ks » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:46 pm

Do they know what caused your syrinx?
Have they done a brain MRI.
Most of the time a syrinx is caused by something, Chiari, tumor, trauma, it could be an idiopathic (unknown cause) syrinx.
Have any of these been ruled in or out?
I've never heard of a shunt being drained into a lung.
They tried 2 different times to put a shunt in my husbands syrinx but they couldn't get it in, it was going to drain in his abdomen.
The Drs at TCI told us that you can't get rid of the syrinx until you can find out what caused it in the first place and fix that problem, if you can.
My husband was mis-diagnosed for 5 years as idiopathic SM. Until we actually went and seen a specialist in this disease who then diagnosed him with CM/SM.
Good Luck to you.
the 4ks
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Postby cash71 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:42 pm

I have to agree that you should get a ns that is looking for the CAUSE of the syrinx. Just shunting it is not fixing what caused it the happen in the first place. If the cause isn't fixed than you will have ongoing issues. Also a shunt is a risky surgery and there are no guarentees that it will work properly or for very long. Shunts are notoriously difficult b/c of issues with them blocking.

If the your ns thinks the cause of your syrinx is arachnoid scarring then the scarring should be addressed. This was discussed with Dr. B as initially this was thought to be causing mine. A surgery can be performed where the adhesions and scar tissue are dissected to relieve the blockage. Once the blockage is fixed then the syrinx should decompress. Have you had cm ruled out? cm is the cause of about 80% of syrinxes.

At the very least I would get a second opinion before allowing anyone to do a shunt. B/c they have to cut thru your spinal cord to insert the shunt it has risks. I also have not heard of shunting it into your lung.

hope this helps,

Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle (Plato)

Syrinx C3-T9, CM zero, OTC, cranial settling, dysautonomia/POTS, and ?EDS

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Postby loren67 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:00 pm

i've never heard of a shunt going into a lung. are you sure he didn't say pulmonary artery?
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Postby dani » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:01 pm

"The treatment for syrinxes has been controversial. Until the mid-1990's, believing that syrinxes form as a result of increased fluid pressure in the central canal, most neurosurgeons simply put a catheter into the cyst to relieve the pressure. The other end of the catheter may be placed in the subarchnoid space or may be placed outside of the spinal cord, in the pleural cavity (lung), for example. Unfortunately, shunting alone has a relatively poor record of success. While the shunts usually will decompress the cyst, over 80% of shunts will occlude over a period of 1-3 years. Because of the poor results of shunting, most neurosurgeons are reluctant to do the operation unless there is clear evidence that the cyst is associated with progressive neurological deficits."

Hope that helps
Danielle (Australia)

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Syringomyelia, Tethered Spinal Cord and Craniocervical Instability.

C1/C2 Fusion: 18th December 2009.
Spinal Cord Detethering: 19th November 2008.
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Postby VickinBryan » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:12 pm

During the appt. we tried to figure out what caused my syrinx. I don't have CM, I've had no trauma we could think of, so we considered it idopathic...however, we talked about my birth. I was born in a traumatic situation...and he thinks I may also have arachnoiditis. He theory is that my spine bled during birth, causing the arachnoiditis, and eventually this led to the syrinx. My syrinx is quite can only see the outline of the spinal cord at the worst level. His concern is that when he puts the shunt in, he wants to run it back into the spinal canal...if he's able to have enough clear room, but if not, if the arachnoiditis prevents this, he says he can shunt into the lung.
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