Laparoscopically Assisted Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt Placement Is not Cost-Effective nor Preventive for Distal Shunt Malfunction

Nicholas Gravbrot, Pedro Aguilar-Salinas, Christina M. Walter, Travis M. Dumont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Laparoscopy for ventriculoperitoneal shunt creation might offer smaller incisions and more reliable placement. We assessed the reliability and cost-effectiveness of this technique compared with mini-laparotomy shunt placement. Methods: All patients undergoing ventriculoperitoneal shunt creation between November 2013 and September 2017 at a single academic institution were evaluated. Individual cases were assessed for the use of laparoscopy for peritoneal shunt placement (laparoscopy) versus mini-laparotomy for peritoneal shunt placement (open). The direct hospital costs for the laparoscopy and open groups were compared for elective shunt placement from the Vizient database. These direct costs were the proportion of the admission cost attributed to surgery. The primary endpoints included costs and revision of the peritoneal catheter within 12 months of the index procedure. Results: A total of 68 patients met the inclusion criteria. Most cases (n = 40; 58.8%) had been performed with laparoscopy, with 28 performed using an open peritoneal approach. Three patients had required ≥1 distal shunt revision: 2 laparoscopy patients (5.0%; 1 had required a second revision) and 1 open patient (3.6%). No statistically significant differences were found for the patients requiring distal shunt revision between the 2 groups (P = 1.000; Fisher's exact test). The direct cost ($9461) of ventriculoperitoneal shunt creation with laparoscopy was greater than that with an open approach ($8247; P = 0.033). Conclusions: Both laparoscopy and open peritoneal shunt creation are safe procedures, with a 12-month distal revision rate in the present series of ~4%. Laparoscopy provided no relative improvement in safety or complication avoidance but had resulted in a mean increase in costs of >$1200 per patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e308-e314
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Laparoscopy
  • Mini-laparotomy
  • Shunt malfunction
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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