Your baby needs hydrocephalus treatment if there is a buildup of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) in the spinal column and brain. The telling sign is the enlargement of the heads of young kids and newborns. This excess fluid puts pressure on the brain tissue. This could lead to cognitive and general health issues if it does not receive treatment. If you want to know more about surgical hydrocephalus treatment, here are the details.
Planning for the treatment
Doctors often take the measurements of the fetal head during the mother’s pregnancy. This is an effective way to spot pediatric hydrocephalus and start early hydrocephalus treatment. The doctor will meet with the patient and the family. This is important in developing an effective plan for delivering the baby. The treatment will start right after the baby’s birth.
Some children develop hydrocephalus after birth. The baby’s pediatrician will be the one to diagnose the condition. Digital imaging is the new way to diagnose this condition. MRI scanners diagnose and follow up. These digital scanners do not expose the patient to radiation, and the patient will not need sedation either.
Most cases of hydrocephalus are treatable. The newest way to treat this condition is through ETV (endoscopic third ventriculostomy). ETV does not leave anything in the patient’s brain. It removes the risk and discomfort in the patient. The procedure increases the patient’s chance of leading a healthy, active, and independent life.
ETV creates a small opening in a ventricle which enables CSF to flow up to the base of the brain. This brings back the natural flow of the fluid. The surgery is possible with the help of a tiny surgical camera. It lasts for about an hour.
The surgeon will put the patient under general anesthesia first. Then, the surgeon will make a small opening in the front part of the skull. This is from where the surgeon will guide the surgical instrument into the patient’s ventricular system. The surgeon will then create drainage in the third ventricle’s floor.
A balloon will inflate in the new opening to stretch it. The surgeon will wait a while before deflating and removing the balloon. The balloon will leave an opening that will allow the right amount of CSF to flow. This will remove significant amounts of CSF in the brain, relieving the pressure. This will slow down the growth of the head to normal size.
This is the traditional hydrocephalus treatment. It uses a synthetic tubing or shunt. Through it, excess CSF will drain out to the abdomen. One end of the shunt will be in the ventricular system. The other end will go through the patient’s neck and into the abdomen. The body cavity will absorb the excess CSF.
A valve in the shunt will make it possible for the doctor to regulate the flow of CSF. This valve is often behind the neck or the ear. The valve has a chamber, allowing access to the CSF for future analyses. The doctor may also install a wireless valve. This will allow easier CSF regulation as the patient grows.
The pediatric hydrocephalus treatment will depend on the patient’s case
Talking to the surgeon will decide if your child needs a traditional stunt or an ETV. The main goal of pediatric hydrocephalus treatment is to relieve the pressure in the brain. Draining the excess CSF in the brain is the most optimal way to do this. An appointment with your doctor will confirm which hydrocephalus treatment will be the right one for your child.
Get more information about Dr. William G. Loudon, Pediatric Neurosurgery in Orange at https://www.drloudonpediatricneurosurgery.com.
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