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Published: February 16, 2023

All About Hydrocephalus - NJ Pediatric Neuro Surgery

What is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the ventricular system of the brain. This can lead to an increase in intracranial pressure, which can cause a wide range of hydrocephalus symptoms including headache, nausea, vomiting, and changes in vision. In severe cases, it can also lead to neurological damage, developmental delays, and even death if left untreated. 

Hydrocephalus can be caused by a variety of factors including congenital defects, infections, tumors, and head injuries. It is typically treated with the placement of a shunt, a device that diverts the excess CSF from the brain to another part of the body where it can be absorbed.

How Pediatric Hydrocephalus Can Be Cured?

Pediatric hydrocephalus can be treated through the placement of a shunt system, which diverts excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to another part of the body, such as the abdomen. In some cases, endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) may be performed, which creates a new opening for the CSF to flow through, bypassing the obstruction. Surgery is the most common treatment option, but it is not always a cure and regular monitoring is necessary to ensure the shunt is functioning properly.

What complications can occur with shunts?

Shunt complications are relatively common in patients with hydrocephalus, particularly in the first few months after surgery. Some of the most common complications include infection, blockage, and malfunction of the shunt. Infection can occur at the site of the shunt or at the point where the shunt drains the fluid. Blockage can occur anywhere in the shunt system, preventing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Malfunctions can be caused by a variety of factors, including mechanical failure, kinks in the tubing, or over-drainage. Other complications include shunt migration, and over or under-drainage, which can result in symptoms like headache, nausea, and vomiting. Regular monitoring and prompt attention to any concerning symptoms are important to minimize the risk of complications.

What Kind of Difficulties a Child with Hydrocephalus Can Face?

A child with hydrocephalus can face a variety of difficulties, both physically and mentally. Physically, they may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, and problems with balance and coordination. They may also have trouble with fine motor skills and difficulties with vision. Mentally, they may have difficulty with memory, attention, and problem-solving. They may also have developmental delays and difficulty with language and communication. Treatment for hydrocephalus, such as a shunt, can help alleviate some of these symptoms, but it may not be able to fully resolve them. Early intervention and therapy can help to improve the child's overall functioning.

A hydrocephalus center is a specialized medical facility that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and management of Hydrocephalus.

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NOTICE: This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for a patient/physician relationship.

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NJPNI does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, or on the basis of disability or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits of any of its programs and activities or in employment therein. This statement is in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to the Acts, Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations part 80, 84, and 91.

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