Neurosurgery for Congenital Brain Anomalies [Pediatric Neurosurgery]

Posted on: September 16, 2019

Pediatric neurosurgery can help with conditions like congenital brain anomalies. Pediatric congenital brain anomalies are defects that begin developing in a child’s brain at birth. Shortly after conception, your child’s brain began to develop and continued to develop and grow until birth. Even after birth, a child’s brain continues to grow and develop at a rapid pace.

Sometimes, however, the growth process can get disrupted. When this happens, defects and anomalies may develop. These will impair your child’s normal brain function. If you think your child has such a condition, reach out to a pediatric neurosurgeon.

Congenital brain defect symptoms

When it comes to pediatric neurosurgery conditions, symptoms can vary from person to person. Yet, some children may not experience a single symptom until they reach adulthood. The most common symptoms of pediatric congenital brain anomalies may include growth delays and headaches. Other symptoms may include gastrointestinal defects, seizures and muscle weakness. Some children also experience vision issues, bowel and bladder problems.

Types of congenital brain anomalies

Many types of congenital brain anomalies can affect children. Many of these anomalies are caused by neural tube defects. Neural tube defects happen when the neural tube does not develop into a spinal cord in-utero. When this happens, the tissue in the neural tube cannot develop. As a result, the following anomalies may occur:

  • Anencephaly: This defect prevents a large part of a child’s brain and skull from developing. As a result, the missing piece of the skull is exposing some of the brain tissue
  • Arnold-Chiari or Chiari II: This defect pushes part of the cerebellum down under the upper spinal column
  • Encephalocele: With this defect, a chunk of a child’s brain seeps through a crack in an underdeveloped skull
  • Microcephaly: This defect prevents a child’s brain from developing

Causes and treatment

There are a few causes associated with pediatric congenital brain anomalies. Some are caused by genetics, while environmental factors may cause others. Infections and prenatal trauma can also cause defects. Fortunately, there are treatments available for certain anomalies. However, many of those treatments only treat existing symptoms. At the very least, they can offer relief and help patients live a life of dignity.


The outlook for many pediatric neurosurgery conditions varies depending on the patient and the severity of any symptoms. Other factors, such as existing mental impairments may also determine a patient’s outlook. Some congenital brain anomalies may result in minor impairments and disabilities. However, others may be severe and cause a child to die after birth. Other children may end up with a mental disorder and need help throughout the rest of their lives.

Find out how pediatric neurosurgery can help your child

If you think your child may have congenital brain anomalies, contact a pediatric neurosurgeon. Depending on the severity of the condition, there may be treatment options available. These will help lessen the effects of the brain anomaly. Schedule a consultation with a pediatric neurosurgeon today.

Request an appointment here: or call Dr. William G. Loudon, Pediatric Neurosurgery at (714) 677-9463 for an appointment in our Orange office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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