The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is a shunt placement, which diverts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to another part of the body. Another option is a procedure known as a third ventriculostomy. Many children with hydrocephalus benefit from rehabilitation therapies and educational interventions, and go on to lead normal lives with few limitations.
Options for treating hydrocephalus include:
- Shunt placement
- Third ventriculostomy.
The treatment of choice is the surgical placement of a hydrocephalus shunt system. This system diverts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from a site within the central nervous system (CNS) to another area of the body where it can be absorbed as part of the circulatory process.
(Click Shunts in Treatment of Hydrocephalus for more information about this option.)
For some people, hydrocephalus treatment can be performed using an alternative procedure called third ventriculostomy. With this option, a neuroendoscope -- a small camera designed to visualize small and difficult-to-reach surgical areas -- allows a healthcare provider to view the ventricular surface using fiber optic technology.
The scope is guided into position so that a small hole can be made in the floor of the third ventricle, allowing the CSF to bypass the obstruction and flow toward the site of resorption around the surface of the brain.
The prognosis for people diagnosed with hydrocephalus is difficult to predict, although there is some correlation between the specific cause of hydrocephalus and the person's outcome.
Hydrocephalus treatment by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals, rehabilitation specialists, and educational experts is critical to a positive outcome. Many children diagnosed with hydrocephalus benefit from rehabilitation therapies and educational interventions, and go on to lead normal lives with few limitations.
(Click Hydrocephalus Prognosis for more information.)