‘Little People, Big World’ Star Zach Roloff Is Recovering From Emergency Brain Surgery — What Happened?

Haylee Thorson - Author

Feb. 9 2023, Published 8:37 p.m. ET

Zach Roloff, one of the stars of TLC’s Little People, Big World, just underwent a serious medical procedure. On Feb. 9, Zach’s wife, Tori Roloff, revealed that her husband required emergency brain surgery and is currently recovering in the hospital. “Not exactly how we saw our week going…,” Tori wrote on Instagram.

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The reality star says her husband is doing well, but let’s take a closer look at what is wrong with Zach Roloff and why the emergency operation was necessary in the first place.

Why did Zach Roloff require emergency brain surgery?

On Instagram, Tori Roloff explained in-depth what happened to her husband.

“Zachary had emergency shunt revision this morning. It’s been a scary 72 hours, but he is doing well and recovering!!” she wrote. “We are so incredibly blessed by our neurosurgeon team and their attentiveness to Zach’s needs!”

According to Tori, Zach had been suffering from migraines, and they’re hopeful the operation will relieve the issue.

Two days before, Tori revealed that Zach’s shunt required repair via her Instagram story. “They say it’s routine surgery but it’s far from my routine and Zach and I are nervous,” she said. “It feels big to us, but we trust his doctors and their ability and knowledge!”

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What is a shunt procedure?

Zach Roloff has had a shunt in his brain since childhood. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “a shunt is a hollow tube surgically placed in the brain (or occasionally in the spine) to help drain cerebrospinal fluid and redirect it to another location in the body where it can be reabsorbed.” However, they pose several risks, like blockage, over-drainage, under-drainage, and infection. However, Tori did not disclose which complication triggered the need for surgery.

This year wasn’t the first time Zach experienced complications with his shunt. In 2006, he underwent corrective surgery for the device during Season 1 of Little People, Big World.

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Zach's family members provided updates before and after the surgery.

One day before Zach’s emergency brain surgery, his father, Matt Roloff, provided an update on Instagram. “Family has been in constant contact and communication. We are all praying for Zach as he undergoes an important shunt revision,” the 61-year-old wrote.

According to Tori, Zach’s mom Amy Roloff watched their three children, Jackson, Lilah Ray, and Josiah Luke, during the surgery. “Shout out to @amyjroloff for holding down the fort and playing hide n seek for who knows how many hours,” she wrote on Instagram.

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How is Zach Roloff doing now?

Luckily, it appears Zach’s operation went smoothly. The photos Tori recently shared depict her husband awake and well. Even from his hospital bed, the Little People, Big World star is smiling and giving the camera a thumbs up.

“You’re a freaking badass, Zach. You just had brain surgery… and handled it like a rockstar,” his wife wrote. “I’m so proud of you.”

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