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Hydrocephalus is a condition caused by the accumulation of excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in cavities known as ventricles deep within the brain.

Hydrocephalus Diagnosis and Treatment at Inspira

This condition can happen at any age, but it is more common among infants, toddlers and older adults.

In normal quantities, CSF delivers vital nutrients to the brain and spinal cord and acts as a mechanism to regulate pressure in these regions. When fluid builds up, however, it can increase pressure to a dangerous degree and cause symptoms including:

  • Enlargement of the head
  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired ability to walk (instability, lack of coordination, muscle stiffness, etc.)
  • Memory loss  
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Your doctor will complete a neurological exam to assess cognitive function and will likely order imaging tests to get a better look at your condition. Ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans= can help diagnose hydrocephalus and point to an underlying cause.

To drain or divert excess fluid, your neurosurgeon will likely either perform endoscopic third ventriculostomy or insert a shunt. Using a microscopic camera, your neurosurgeon will perform endoscopic third ventriculostomy by making a hole in the affected ventricle to allow excess fluid to drain. A shunt promotes drainage by using a tube to divert fluid so that it flows at the right rate and in the right direction.

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