Background: Optimal surgical management of patients presenting with primary shunt failure in the era of neuroendoscopy remains complex. The value of replacing the entire shunt system as opposed to a single shunt component has not been assessed extensively. Methods: In a retrospective study, the records of all patients who underwent their first shunt revision due to mechanical obstruction between September 2007 and December 2011 were reviewed. Shunt revisions were classified as total (entire shunt replaced) or partial (only malfunctioning component replaced). Patients having a minimum follow-up of 1 year after primary shunt revision were included in the study. Kaplan-Meier (shunt survival curves) and log-rank analysis were used to compare failure rates between partially and totally revised shunts. Results: Records of 62 patients in whom cause of primary shunt failure was obstruction (P roximal or distal) were analyzed retrospectively. At the end of follow-up period, 26 out of 28 partial revision group and 22 out of 34 total revision group had shunt failure. The median survival of the shunt in the partial revision and total revision groups was 60 and 270 days, respectively. The method (partial/total revision) related difference in shunt survival duration was statistically significant as shown by log-rank analysis (log-rank test value = 5.94 and P < 0.05). Conclusion: Partial revision of shunt predisposes to accelerated shunt failure as compared with total revision in cases of obstructed ventriculoperitoneal shunt.