LeVeen Shunt is a procedure performed by rerouting the fluid flow or blood within the body to relieve circulatory problems and accumulation of fluid. Before the LeVeen shunt procedure can begin, the individual is given a general anesthetic. A local anesthetic may also be used.
The abdomen is shaved and scrubbed with soap and antiseptic, and draped so that only the incision region is exposed. The fascia, peritoneum, skin, muscle and fat are cut; vessels which are bleed are tied off and caurerized.
Accumulated fluid is drained from the peritoneum by suction. The LeVeen shunt, with its multitube collecting system, one-way valve, and long upper catheter, is placed into the abdomen and stitched in place. The upper catheter is run under the skin of the chest to one of the jugular veins, or to the subclavian vein, threaded through a puncture in the vein, and pushed down into the superior vena cava at the point above the heart where blood from the upper body returns to it.
The functioning of the shunt is checked by the injection of tiny or dye radioactive beads. If the LeVeen shunt is working properly, the abdomen is closed and the individual transferred to the recovery room. Because this procedure typically leads to high rates of early complications, the person is usually kept in intensive care for a few days. This procedure is done by a vascular surgeon, neurosurgeon or a general surgeon at a hospital. Post-operation complications may include infection, bleeding, clotting, and perforation of the colon.