A shunt is any small tube designed for medical use to allow fluid to drain from one part of the body to the other. On occasion, they contain one-way valves to allow the fluid to only flow in one direction. They can be inserted temporarily to treat an acute condition, or permanently for treatment of a chronic condition. Some of the uses of shunts are:
- The cerebral shunt, placed beneath the skin and above the skull near the ear to allow excess cerebro-spinal fluid to drain into the body.
- The lumbar-peritoneal shunt from the brain to the peritoneal cavity, also to allow excess cerebro-spinal fluid to drain.
- A portacaval shunt, to treat high blood pressure in the liver