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What You Should Know About Hydrocephalus

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid that cushions the spine and brain. It flows over the brain and spine then gets reabsorbed into your bloodstream. When the process works normally, your body makes and reabsorbs the same amount of fluid every day. However, if you have hydrocephalus, the body no longer reabsorbs CSF. Left untreated, this can lead to short-term memory loss, difficulty holding urine in the bladder and a shuffling walk or the feeling that the feet are stuck to the floor.

At Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic, we offer several treatment options to alleviate the buildup of spinal fluid. Although it sometimes takes more than one surgery, it’s possible to lead a normal life following hydrocephalus surgery.

What Are the Symptoms of Hydrocephalus?

Symptoms in Older Adults Over 60

  • Loss of bladder control
  • Memory loss
  • Progressive loss of reasoning skills
  • Difficulty walking

What Causes Hydrocephalus?

Some children are born with hydrocephalus, while others acquire it later following a head injury, tumor, hemorrhage, or meningitis. Those born with it may also have co-occurring disorders such as spina bifida or Dandy-Walker syndrome.

How Is Hydrocephalus Treated?

There are several possible treatments, which our surgical team will discuss with you. Your doctor will help you understand the one that may work best for you.

Types of Hydrocephalus Treatment:

  • Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV). During an ETV, the neurosurgeon makes a small hole behind the hairline. Then, they place an endoscope into the area where cerebrospinal fluid accumulates. By creating a tiny opening in the brain tissue, the surgeon restores the flow and reabsorption of CSF. If the procedure goes well, you may not need further treatment. Risks include infection and the possibility of the hole closing over.
  • Shunt and Catheter. This is one of the most common procedures traditionally used to drain excess CSF. During this surgery, the neurosurgeon uses a shunt to drain the extra fluid. The fluid drains through a catheter into your chest cavity, heart, or abdomen, resolving the problem of excess spinal fluid. Typically, the shunt and catheter remain in place permanently. For children, this means additional surgeries as they outgrow their catheters.
  • Lumbar Puncture. This procedure involves training CSF from the spine’s base. It can improve both mobility and cognition.
  • Lumbar Infusion Test. During this process, the surgeon injects fluid into your spine to measure the pressure of CSF. If necessary, the surgeon can put in a shunt to facilitate proper drainage.

Consult with Dr. Lewis for Hydrocephalus

Dr. Adam I. Lewis has performed thousands of surgeries in Jackson, MS, and elsewhere. He has extensive experience in performing and teaching life-saving procedures, such as those that can reverse the effects of hydrocephalus.

Want to know how we can help you or a loved one with hydrocephalus in Jackson, MS? Call us at (601) 366-1011 or contact us online. We’ll find a solution that works for you.