Shunt scissors: Technical note

Ralph G. Dacey, Oliver E. Flouty, M. Sean Grady, Matthew A. Howard, Marc R. Mayberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: When performing ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery it is necessary to create a subgaleal pocket that is of sufficient size to accommodate a shunt valve. In most cases the valve is placed over the posterior skull where the galea begins to transition to suboccipital neck fascia. Dense fibrous attachments in this region of the skull make it technically awkward to develop the subgaleal valve pocket using standard scissors and a blunt dissection technique. In this report the authors describe a new device that enables surgeons to create the shunt valve pocket by using a simple semi-sharp dissection technique. Methods: The authors analyzed the deficiencies of the standard valve pocket dissection technique and designed shunt scissors that address the identified shortcomings. These new scissors allow the surgeon to sharply dissect the subgaleal space by using an efficient hand-closing maneuver. Results: Standard surgical scissors were modified to create shunt scissors that were tested on the benchtop and used in the operating room. In all cases the shunt scissors proved easy to use and allowed the efficient and reliable creation of a subgaleal valve pocket in a technically pleasing manner. Conclusions: Shunt scissors represent an incremental technical advance in the field of neurosurgical shunt operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1202
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Shunt scissors
  • Surgical technique
  • Valve
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt


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