Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is as an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain however this definition over-simplifies a complex range of problems which can affect patients of all ages from newborn babies to the very elderly.

My routine practice does not involve (non-emergency) paediatric neurosurgery however I look after adult patients who were treated as a child for hydrocephalus and also adult patients with symptoms which may be related to the size of the fluid spaces (ventricles) within their brain (e.g. Normal Pressure Hydrocephlus or NPH).

My management of hydrocephalus involves detailed analysis of the patient's history, neurological examination and may include special tests such as visual assessment, CT scans and MRI scans.

In some cases, patients will require admission for tests such as lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and intra-cranial pressure monitoring and they may also require a formal review by a neurologist who specialises in the management of headache and a condition termed Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH).

My management of hydrocephalus ranges from medical therapy (tablets) in very selected cases to, more commonly, surgical treatment to create an alternative pathway for the flow of fluid in the brain.

The techniques I employ will depend on the cause of the hydrocephalus as well as the appearence of the fluid spaces on brain scans

I routinely perform the following surgeries:

  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy
  • Ventriculo-peritoneal shunting
  • Lumbar-peritoneal shunting

I have access to and experience of endoscopic surgical treatments and in cases of multiple previous (complex) abdominal surgeries, a good working relationship with general surgeons who specialise in minimally invasive access to the peritoneal cavity.