Ventricular-Atrial Shunt (VA Shunt)
What is a VA Shunt and what does it do?
This is a device which drains the extra fluid in the brain into the right atrium of the heart. The distal end of the shunt catheter (see Parts of a Shunt below) is placed into a vein in the neck and threaded down where the vein joins a larger vein called the Superior Vena Cava. This large vein returns blood to the right atrium of the heart. The cerebral spinal fluid is absorbed into the blood supply.
Basic Parts of a Shunt
There are many different kinds of shunts. All have three basic parts: a Ventricular Catheter, a Shunt Valve and a Distal Catheter. See What is a Shunt? to understand how the different parts of a shunt function.