Hydrocephalus & VP Shunt Information
Hydrocephalus (fluid in the brain) is caused by an increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid (commonly called CSF) in the brain's ventricles. The ventricles are a system of large, fluid-filled open spaces inside the brain. Too much CSF in the ventricles can elevate pressure in the brain and damage the delicate brain tissue. There are many different types of hydrocephalus, each type has its own cause and symptoms. Dr Oehme has experience in treating different types of hydrocephalus including:
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)
- Aqueduct stenosis and obstructive hydrocephalus
- Post traumatic hydrocephalus
- Post infective hydrocephalus
- Post haemorrhagic hydrocephalus
- Congenital hydrocephalus
The symptoms of hydrocephalus vary depending on the type and cause but include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Visual disturbance
- Problems with walking and balance
- Urinary symptoms such as incontinence
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
Hydrocephalus is investigated with a scan of the brain such as a CT, MRI or both. Sometimes other investigations will be needed to work out the exact cause of the hydrocephalus.
Not all forms of hydrocephalus need treatment but sometimes drainage of the excess fluid can lead to an improvement in symptoms. Sometimes urgent treatment may be recommended.
Treatment options for hydrocephalus are all aimed at draining the excess fluid and include:
- Shunt (VP or LP shunt) - tube in brain to drain fluid from ventricles. Click here to watch a video about shunts.
- Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV) - small opening in base of brain to drain fluid from ventricles
- Lumbar puncture (LP) - small needle in lower spine to drain fluid
For more information about hydrocephalus watch the video below.