The word 'Hydrocephalus' is the condition where there is an abnormal enlargement of the brain ventricles (cavities) due to the accumulation of cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF). Cerebro-spinal fluid is a clear fluid absorbed by the brain. This CSF circulates from the brain cavity system and thereafter from the subarachnoid space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. CSF nourishes and protects both the spinal cord and brain. Damaged to the brain is caused if hydrocephalus is left untreated. It has been seen that hydrocephalus is more common in infants and adults who are 60 or above. According to some experts, normal pressure hydrocephalus accounts for 5-6% of all dementia cases.
Hydrocephalus symptoms depend upon the stage of hydrocephalus condition and the age of the child at the time of diagnosis.
Wait and see approach : When hydrocephalus is found by accident like at the time of MRI or CT scan examination done for some other problem and is not resulting in any symptoms. In this case there is a particular treatment for hydrocephalus. Only careful examination and monitoring is required.
Medication : For instance, at the time of infection antibiotics are given. Surgery is required for clearing up the infection when it do not resolve the hydrocephalus.
Surgery : The surgical procedure for hydrocephalus can remove the cause of the blockage. When there is a condition of temporary hydrocephalus, a surgeon may insert a small catheter so as to enable the fluid to drain out while the original cause such as bleeding has time to resolve. In the case of congenital hydrocephalus, a shunt (a permanent tube) is inserted to drain out the excess fluid.
Shunt insertion procedure is considered as the most common surgical procedure for treating hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). A shunt is basically a device which helps in diverting fluid from the brain into the abdominal cavity and it absorbs there safely into the blood stream. The shunt procedure is performed in the same way in adults, infants and children. During ventricular shunt surgery, a shunt (a thin tube) is implanted inside the brain. The excess CSF in the brain travels from this shunt to another body part generally in the abdomen. The fluid is then absorbed in the blood stream. In order to control the CSF flow, there is a valve within the shunt. This valve also ensures that the fluid doe not drain rapidly.
India is known all the world for its low cost and excellent medical health care services. The treatment for hydrocephalus in India is very cost-effective. The level of care is equal as compared to other developed countries of the world.
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