How Much Does VP Shunt Surgery Cost?

Last Modified: July 17, 2023  |   Created on: April 7, 2023

India is a popular choice for international patients looking for high-quality healthcare at reasonable costs. At the best hospitals in India, VP shunt surgery for hydrocephalus starts from USD 5000.

The surgical procedure known as a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is used to treat hydrocephalus, which is the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. CSF is responsible for preventing the brain from injury as it provides a cushion and can absorb any type of shock or impact.

VP shunt surgery in India is a sensitive procedure that can save a patient’s life who is suffering from hydrocephalus. If this life-saving surgery is not done, unexpected events might happen. VP shunting is performed by the best neurosurgery hospitals in India.

VP Shunt

  • A medical device called a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt drains extra fluid from the brain that is overstretched by the brain ventricles.
  • VP shunts come in two varieties: non-programmable and programmable, and the settings of the shunt control how much fluid is drained by the system. Non-programmable VP shunts can only be adjusted once the settings have been pre-programmed by the surgeon. On the other hand, programmable VP shunt settings can be adjusted as necessary.
  • When CSF builds up in the skull and causes brain swelling, a condition known as hydrocephalus, a VP shunt system is used to treat it. Hydrocephalus is the medical term for having water on the brain. Teenagers are also susceptible to this disorder, which primarily affects children and people over 60.

Reasons for the fluid build-up

The build-up of fluid in the brain may be brought on by:

  • Blockages, cysts, tumours, or inflammation interfere with the CSF’s normal flow.
  • Excessive production of cranial fluid
  • CSF reabsorption by blood vessels is insufficient.

The shunt system gets rid of the extra fluid, which alleviates symptoms like physical and developmental impairment, mild dementia, and inability to control one’s bladder.

CSF-Cerebrospinal Fluid

The brain and spinal cord contain a clear liquid called CSF (cerebrospinal fluid).

The spinal cord and the surface of the brain are usually completely engulfed by this fluid as it travels from the ventricles to the base of the brain. After that, CSF is reabsorbed into the blood.

There are several crucial roles of CSF:

  • Protects the brain by serving as a “shock absorber” or cushion by delivering nutrients while also removing waste.
  • Adapt to or counteract variations in intracranial blood volume (blood within the brain)

Get a Free Personalized quote for VP Shunt Surgery

(jpeg, jpg, doc, docx, pdf)

Symptoms of hydrocephalus

Blockages are the most common cause of hydrocephalus. The normal flow of CSF can be obstructed by cysts, inflammation, and tumours in the brain, leading to a potentially harmful build-up. The symptoms of hydrocephalus are as follows:

  • Large head size
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Incontinence
  • Poor appetite
  • Cognitive delays or regression
  • Memory loss
  • Poor coordination
  • Impaired vision
  • Inability to focus or stay awake due to drowsiness, fatigue due to feeling worn out or less strong than usual, or both
  • Unable to determine the time to urinate.

Diagnosis of hydrocephalus

  • Imaging tests can be used to identify hydrocephalus.
  • The brain’s cavities and tissues can be seen by medical professionals using ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI scans.
  • Testing will show whether specific brain regions have higher-than-normal fluid levels.

How does a shunt function?

The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow is diverted from the brain and spine to another area of the body by a narrow tube, where it will be absorbed through a typical circulatory process. Typically, the fluid is directed towards the heart’s lower chamber or the abdomen.

A one-way valve with a reservoir, which is connected to the short catheter, manages the fluid flow. The reservoir collects a small amount of fluid that the neurologist can use for testing.

  • A short catheter: a thin, flexible tube that is placed in the front, back, or side of the head to drain the CSF from the brain.
  • A long catheter: a thin tube connected to the other end of the valve to transfer the fluid to the abdomen or another part of the body.

VP shunt surgery procedure

The doctor advises instructions regarding how to get ready for this surgery. The doctor might suggest:

  • Quit drinking because it could affect your surgery and recovery.
  • Since vitamin E can aggravate bleeding, it should be avoided.
  • Avoiding herbal remedies and supplements, discussing any current medications that people might need to stop taking before surgery, and more.
  • Addressing any heart-related devices and any heart-related test outcomes.
  • The results of any diagnostic heart tests, as well as any heart devices, should be discussed.
  • The surgeon should be informed of any known allergies to medications, anaesthesia, or latex. As a result, there are fewer complications during and after the shunt procedure.
  • Describing the potential effects of smoking on the procedure.
  • If there is any, discuss sleep apnoea.

The night before surgery, a patient might be told by the doctor to abstain from food after midnight. They might also suggest how much water to drink and when to drink it prior to surgery.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting VP Shunt Surgery?

World's Most Trusted Medical Advisory & Discount Platform

Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

During the surgery

  • General anaesthesia will be administered by the doctor prior to the ventriculoperitoneal shunt fitting.
  • Once the patient is completely unconscious, a small hole will be drilled into the skull through an incision made behind the ear.
  • The doctor will then place the inflow catheter inside the brain.
  • To regulate how the catheter operates, they will attach a valve to the end of it.
  • The outflow catheter is inserted through a small belly incision and under the skin. The evacuated CSF can then be reabsorbed by the body.
  • When the doctor has connected all of the shunt’s components, the shunt system will start removing CSF fluid from the brain.

After the surgery

Following the placement of a VP shunt, recovery takes three to four days. Most patients are able to leave the hospital seven days after their treatment, on average.

Your blood pressure and heart rate will be checked while you’re in the hospital, and your doctor will give you antibiotics to keep you healthy. Your doctor will confirm that the shunt is operating normally before you leave.

Cost of VP Shunt Surgery

A VP shunt is a delicate procedure that can save the life of a hydrocephalus patient in India. If this life-saving surgery is not done, extreme conditions might develop.

  • VP shunting is performed in a number of India’s top neurosurgery hospitals. This procedure is carried out by a group of highly qualified, skilled surgeons with extensive experience. It is essential to have this procedure done under the supervision of a highly skilled surgeon in order to ensure that post-surgery risks are kept to a minimum.
  • Healthcare facilities in India offer patients end-to-end services, from the initial consultation to the final travel or lodging arrangements.
  • As a result, while receiving treatment in India, the patient can relax and focus.
  • To ensure greater safety and preservation for all medical treatments, India has invested in cutting-edge technology. As a result, one can relax knowing that they’ll get the best healthcare the nation has to offer.

India is a popular choice for international patients looking for high-quality healthcare at reasonable costs. At the best hospitals in India, shunt surgery for hydrocephalus starts from USD 5000.

Factors which may influence the cost of a VP shunt surgery

Depending on the patient’s health and preferences, the procedure’s overall cost also varies. Some of these elements include:

  • Chosen hospital and room type (General, Twin sharing, or Single room)
  • The extent of the illness
  • If there is a post-surgical complication (such as mechanical malfunction, placement failure, infection, or CSF leak)
  • Blood product prices (if required)
  • A protracted hospital stays.
  • The expense for lodging during follow-up visits if the patient is not a local

Even after accounting for travel and lodging costs, India has significantly lower costs for brain shunt surgery than other developed countries. This is one of the main causes for India’s reputation as the best country for medical tourism.

Recovery after VP shunt surgery

  • Following the placement of a VP shunt, recovery takes three to four days.
  • Most patients are able to leave the hospital seven days after their treatment, on average.
  • The blood pressure and heart rate will be checked while in the hospital, and the doctor will give antibiotics to keep the patients healthy.
  • Based on certain findings the doctor will confirm that the shunt is operating normally before the patient leaves.

Benefits of VP shunt surgery

  • Controls the cerebrospinal fluid that leaves the brain’s ventricles in terms of volume, flow, and pressure.
  • Makes obtaining samples of cerebrospinal fluid for the medical staff as simple as possible (with a valve reservoir)


Most of the time, shunting is successful in lowering brain pressure.
After several years, VP shunts are likely to need to be replaced, especially in young children. A child’s shunt typically lasts for two years.

For eight or more years, adults and children older than two may not require a shunt replacement.

Shunt systems need regular monitoring and maintenance. Shunt systems could have a number of complications, including obstructions, mechanical failure, and infections.

If anyone encounters signs that the shunt system is malfunctioning, it is advised to seek immediate medical help.

Happy Lyfboat Patients

Send via Email

Six Simple Steps

Free Access to the Network

Our medical advisory platform automatically sends your medical query to our network of expert Doctors, working only at top internationally accredited Hospitals.

Direct Communication

You and the medical providers communicate directly via email or your online patient account; our case managers are always available to help you with this.

Get Verified Quotations

You receive medical opinions and cost estimates within 24 to 48 hours via email and your online patient account.

Compare Quotes & Advices

Lyfboat empowers you to compare the medical opinions, and discuss the options with our very own doctors who help answer your questions, and guide you in making informed decisions on the best treatment option.

Get Discounted Costs

We negotiate your final costs, explore available discount offers, and we handle all your logistics including travel, accommodation, transport, and medical co-ordination.

Return Home Fit

Get cured, pay hospital after treatment and return home safe. Our care team is available throughout your journey to good health!

Free Enquiry