Hydrocephalus treatment options

Hydrocephalus treatment options

What is the best treatment for hydrocephalus?

Can hydrocephalus be cured naturally?

Can hydrocephalus be treated without surgery?

Can hydrocephalus be treated with drugs?

 

Hydrocephalus treatment options

The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a drainage system, called a shunt. It consists of a long, flexible tube with a valve that keeps fluid from the brain flowing in the right direction and at the proper rate. One end of the tubing is usually placed in one of the brain's ventricles.

One of two surgical treatments may be used to treat hydrocephalus.

 

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Shunt System

The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a drainage system, called a shunt. It consists of a long, flexible tube with a valve that keeps fluid from the brain flowing in the right direction and at the proper rate.

One end of the tubing is usually placed in one of the brain's ventricles. The tubing is then tunneled under the skin to another part of the body where the excess cerebrospinal fluid can be more easily absorbed such as the abdomen or a chamber in the heart.

People who have hydrocephalus usually need a shunt system for the rest of their lives, and regular monitoring is required.

 

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV) and Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy with Choroid Plexus Cauterization (ETV/CPC)

 

A second treatment option for hydrocephalus is a surgical procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). This same ETV procedure with the addition of choroid plexus cauterization is available for infants. In the ETV procedure, an endoscope is used to puncture a membrane in the floor of the third ventricle creating a pathway for CSF flow within the cavities in the brain. This approach is an important alternative to shunting for obstructive hydrocephalus and may be useful in other cases as well.

The third treatment option involves the addition of choroid plexus cauterization with endoscopic third ventriculostomy in infants. The neurosurgeon uses a device to burn or cauterize tissue from the choroid plexus. The choroid plexus is a network of vessels in the ventricles of the brain where cerebrospinal fluid is produced.

The success rate for ETV or ETV/CPC depends upon patient factors such as age, cause of hydrocephalus, and whether there is scarring in the fluid space below the floor of the third ventricle. For some patients, the chance for success of the ETV may be up to 90%; however, for others, ETV with the addition of CPC for infants may not be recommended because the chances for success are sufficiently low. Your neurosurgeon should be able to provide you with a reliable estimate of the likelihood for success in your particular situation prior to the operation. It’s critical that parents and patients understand that ETV is not always a permanent cure for hydrocephalus. Candid communication with your physician regarding the definition of success is important when considering ETV.

 

 

Read more about: Hydrocephalus treatment drugs

Read more about: Hydrocephalus treatment shunt

 

What is the best treatment for hydrocephalus?

The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a drainage system, called a shunt.

 

Can hydrocephalus be cured naturally?

Can hydrocephalus be treated without surgery?

Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. There is currently no known way to prevent or cure hydrocephalus and the only treatment option today requires brain surgery. With early detection and appropriate intervention of hydrocephalus, the future for many is promising. Recent research is advancing knowledge and moving us closer to a cure.

Can hydrocephalus be treated with drugs?

All successful, long-term treatments are surgical. There is little use for medication in hydrocephalus. In some acquired cases, as with tumors and infections, resolving the underlying condition will resolve the hydrocephalus, but most patients still require surgical intervention. Acetazolamide (ACZ) and furosemide (FUR) treat post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus in neonates. Both are diuretics that also appear to decrease secretion of CSF at the level of the choroid plexus. ACZ can be used alone or in conjunction with FUR.

 

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10 common questions about Hydrocephalus treatment options

1Can hydrocephalus be treated with drugs?
The most suitable drug seems to be acetazolamide, alone or in combination with furosemide. At present, osmotic agents are no longer used in the treatment of hydrocephalus.
2Can hydrocephalus be treated without surgery?
Hydrocephalus is treated with surgery There are no effective medicines for hydrocephalus. Most children require surgery. The goal is to lessen the pressure in the brain by providing another pathway for CSF to be drained and absorbed away from the brain
3How do you drain fluid from the brain?
A shunt is a thin tube implanted in the brain to drain away the excess CSF to another part of the body (often the abdominal cavity, the space around the bowel) where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The CSF is controlled by a valve.
4Can you live a normal life with hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations. Hydrocephalus can occur at any age, but is most common in infants and adults age 60 and older.
5What is the life expectancy of someone with hydrocephalus?
Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age one will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus
6What is the best treatment for hydrocephalus?
A second treatment option for hydrocephalus is a surgical procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). This same ETV procedure with the addition of choroid plexus cauterization is available for infants.
7Can hydrocephalus go away by itself?
Left untreated, progressive hydrocephalus may be fatal. The symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus usually get worse over time if the condition is not treated, although some people may experience temporary improvements
8Can you live a normal life with a shunt?
Can I live a normal life with a shunt? Most of hydrocephalic patients will be required to keep their CSF shunt all life long. One of the advantages of this therapy is that it allows you to have a normal daily life. The shunt will restore the CSF circulation to regulate its flow.
9How long can you live with a shunt?
Shunting is successful in reducing pressure in the brain in most people. VP shunts are likely to require replacement after several years, especially in small children. The average lifespan of an infant's shunt is two years. Adults and children over the age of 2 may not need a shunt replacement for eight or more years
10Is shunt surgery painful?
Ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery (VP shunt surgery) helps control pressure in your brain by draining extra fluid out of your brain and into your belly. ... After surgery, your neck or belly may feel tender. You will probably feel tired, but you should not have much pain.

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