Friday, October 29, 2010

Quick explanation

The reason Sumana had surgery was because her shunt had stopped working. As a result of being born with spina bifida, I guess the spinal fluid couldn't drain off the brain as easily as it should, therefore she developed hydrocephalous (water on the brain). So the shunt drains excess fluid off the brain, maintaining a fairly constant 'normal' pressure on the brain. The fluid flows from her brain to her abdominal cavity in a tube, then it is absorbed by the body. Instead of doing anything with the shunt on her right side, Dr. Silberstein put a brand new shunt in on the left side. I hesitated to call it brain surgery earlier because I didn't want people to freak out, but that's really what it was. She has a total of maybe 20 stitches in three separate incision sites . . . two on her head and one on her belly.

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