Hydrocephalus And The Effective Surgical Treatments Involved

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The excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the cavities (ventricles) of your brain is known as hydrocephalus. 

Hydrocephalus Oxnard treatment includes surgical intervention that uses state-of-the-art technology to address every aspect of neurological disease successfully.

Understanding hydrocephalus 

Hydrocephalus is medically termed as an abnormal buildup of fluid (CSF) within the brain ventricles. CSF is a clear, colorless fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord. The extra fluid accumulation could be due to an obstruction, inadequate fluid absorption in the brain, or due to overproduction of CSF (rarely). An imbalance in the production and absorption of CSF can lead to abnormal fluid buildup, enlarging the ventricles. This increases the pressure inside your brain impairing its function.

Normally, CSF flows through areas in your brain called ventricles, and is extremely important to your brain and body functions, since it:

  • Protects your brain and spinal cord by acting as a shock absorber
  • Aids in nutrient delivery to your brain
  • Helps to transport waste products away from your brain
  • Modulates pressure changes in your body

Factors that cause hydrocephalus 

Hydrocephalus can develop for a number of reasons. It can be congenital (present by birth) or acquired.

Congenital factors

  • Spina bifida and other brain or spinal cord defects
  • Complications due to premature birth
  • Infections during pregnancy, such as rubella

Acquired factors 

  • Brain or spinal cord tumors
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Stroke due to brain hemorrhage
  • Meningitis 

Prominent traits of hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus presents with different symptoms depending on age.

Symptoms in infants

  • Abnormally large head size
  • Bulging and tense fontanelle or soft spot
  • Prominent scalp veins
  • Sunset eyes (downward deviation)
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting 

Symptoms in children

  • Poor appetite
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Slow developmental progress
  • Swelling of the optic disc
  • Urinary incontinence 

Symptoms in adults

  • Headache 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gait disturbances
  • Loss of balance
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired vision
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Memory loss
  • Mild dementia 

Surgical treatment for hydrocephalus

Currently, the only way to treat hydrocephalus is through surgical intervention. The two types of brain surgery include:

  • Shunt 
    • It is the most common type of hydrocephalus treatment.
    • A medical device called a shunt (a thin flexible tube) is surgically placed in your brain.
    • The shunt drains the excess CSF to another area of your body where it can be absorbed.
  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV)
    • It is a surgical procedure where a small hole is made in the floor of your third ventricle.
    • This facilitates a clear pathway for easy flow of CSF in and around your brain. 

Conclusion

Being diagnosed with hydrocephalus is scary and distressing. However, early evaluation of symptoms and diagnosis can pave the way for an effective treatment to help you lead a painless and normal life.