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Hydrocephalus

Disorders of the dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid increasing intracranial pressure

  • Team of specialists focused on precise diagnostics
  • We use programmable valves
  • Endoscope operations (Ventriculostomy)

Endoscope operations (Ventriculostomy)

The general causes of this condition are disorders of the creation, flow or absorption of spinal fluid. The causes may be congenital or developmental defects, bleeding or intracranial infections, post-operational conditions or brain traumas, or brain or spinal tumours. The cause is not known for some forms of hydrocephalus.

The most common symptoms among children are a tense, bulging fontanelle, swollen head, tunnel vision, increased excitability or, conversely, apathy, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abnormal gait. For adults and older people they are headaches, sleepiness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abnormal gait, impaired mental function, visual disorders and problems with bowel movement, especially in the form of incontinence.

Diagnosis is suggested by clinical manifestations and confirmed by imaging methods (ultrasound scans of the head in young children through the fontanelle, CT or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in adults).

Hydrocephalus symptoms

The most common symptoms among children are a tense, bulging fontanelle, swollen head, tunnel vision, increased excitability or, conversely, apathy, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abnormal gait. For adults and older people they are headaches, sleepiness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abnormal gait, impaired mental function, visual disorders and problems with bowel movement, especially in the form of incontinence.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is suggested by clinical manifestations and confirmed by imaging methods (ultrasound scans of the head in young children through the fontanelle, CT or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in adults). We also use the lumbar infusion test. This is a puncture in the lumbar spine with an infusion of saline into the space where cerebrospinal fluid is already present. The suitability of shunt surgery is considered on the basis of the test results.

Surgical treatment

The aim of the treatment is to drain the excess amount of cerebrospinal fluid from the head and ensure that the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid remains normal. Shunt surgery is typically performed, with a catheter inserted into the brain ventricles (where cerebrospinal fluid is formed) and leads through a valve into the abdominal cavity, where the excess cerebrospinal fluid is drained off and absorbed – the so-called ventriculo-peritoneal shunt.  In some cases a solution without a shunt is possible by clearing the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. This is an operation inside the brain ventricle carried out using an endoscope. Hospitalization, including monitoring and correctly setting