One hundred and two patients with ventriculo-peritoneal shunts were studied. The aim of the study was to record the complications caused by the peritoneal end of the catheter and the frequency with which they occurred. Some of the complications involving tube migration arc illustrated by case reports emphasising the possible morbidity and mortality that may be associated with this problem. Fifty-one patients in the series had a complication; of these, 23 had only a mild temporary intestinal ileus following initial insertion of the shunt system. In the remaining 28 patients, the complications could have been significantly reduced by careful attention to operative detail and a closer follow-up of the patients following the shunt insertion.