We understand that caring for your patients is a number one priority. Our new shunt design was developed with your needs in mind.
The Inflatashield is beneficial in all cases of communicating hydrocephalus (the most common type) and some cases of non-communicating, where a shunt is necessary and a third ventriculostomy is not an option. Unless the ventricles are an unusual size, such as with slit ventricles, the Inflatashield will be an advantageous option.
It will be extremely easy to insert as current surgical methods were taken into account while developing the Inflatashield. Before insertion, the balloon is deflated and flush with the catheter. The final design will be 3 mm in diameter, no larger than many of the shunts in use today.
Once inserted, the balloon barrier is inflated to a small volume with saline. This allows it to protect the shunt tip from the choroid and other tissue, while still allowing optimal flow.
By protecting the catheter tip of the shunt, the most vulnerable component of the device, the Inflatashield is able to minimize the risk of obstruction during siphoning events. As seen in the design below, the balloon shield acts as a barrier between the shunt tip and the highly vascularized choroid plexus tissue that most often occludes the tip.
Over half of patients will undergo a shunt revision within 3 years of insertion, most often due to shunt occlusion in the proximal end. This number is too high. Our Inflatashield will lower the number of shunt revisions.
Furthermore, future development of the device includes plans to incorporate an easy way to monitor intracranial pressure to avoid last minute emergency trips to the hospital.
The risks are very minimal, and similar to current shunt devices: there is the small possibility that tissue will attach to the shunt, necessitating cauterization before a revision surgery.
Our engineers are devising strategies to minimize this risk. As well as conducting extensive testing to ensure the balloon will last for long-term implantations and still be deflatable if it needs to be removed.
REBL Innovations 2011