The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes the brain and spinal cord. Most of the CSF is located in the ventricles of the brain, which are large cavities in the brain that produce the CSF.
In hydrocephalus, the ventricles of the brain become enlarged with cerebrospinal fluid. This condition causes the brain tissue to compress against the skull, causing serious neurological problems.
There are numerous causes for hydrocephalus depending on the age group. In adults, common causes including bleeding inside the ventricles, infection (eg. meningitis), tumour causing obstruction, etc. In children, there are other rarer congenital causes. In the elderly, a condition called normal pressure hydrocephalus may require a ventricular peritoneal (VP) shunt.
The operation is generally safe with low surgical risk. Some of the risks encountered are as follows:
Rare but potentially more serious complications are listed below:
As the abdominal cavity is entered during operation, some patients may have slow gastric and bowel movement post operation and may experience feelings of nausea and vomiting. They may not tolerate full meals immediately post operation. These symptoms usually resolve spontaneously over time.
This occurs when the ventricular or peritoneal end of the shunt tubing is in a position which does not facilitate free flow of CSF. The result is poor CSF drainage and hydrocephalus does not resolve.
Wound breakdown/shunt tube exposure
This can occur when the wound does not heal well or the overlying skin is thin with minimal subcutaneous tissue layer resulting in wound breakdown.
Some risk factors include malnourishment, debilitated condition and prolonged steroid usage.
After the Operation
Expectation after Surgery
What does it involve?
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