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Doctor insights on: Shunt Will Hydrocephalus Expectancy

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Shunt (Definition)

Device that allows the flow of usually a fluid between two places. Sometimes a shunt may be used during carotid endarterectomy surgery to maintain the blood flow to the brain while the carotid artery ...Read more


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How does a shunt work to treat hydrocephalus?

How does a shunt work to treat hydrocephalus?

Relieves csf: A shunt diverts CSF that is accumulating in the spaces of the brain called ventricles to the abdominal space. Normally the CSF which is produced in the ventricles exists through small pores in the ventricles to circulate the brain and down the spinal cord. If those pores are blocked or the CSF can not drain to the spinal cord, then it accumulates in the ventricles and decrease brain tissue. ...Read more

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Can a child stop needing a shunt for hydrocephalus?

Possible: It is possible for the hydrocephaly to slowly resolve and not re-occur. It certainly depends what caused the hydrocephaly in the first place. It is more common to slowly resolve if it was caused by a blled in the brain when the baby was premature. Less likely if the cuase is a physical restriction of the flow of CSF as in dandy-walker cyst or arnold chiari defect. ...Read more

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How dangerous is having a shunt put in for hydrocephalus?

Common procedure: While untoward outcomes may occur with any surgery, shunt placement is one of the most commonly performed neurosurgical procedures. The surgery entails passing a tube or catheter into the brain. Another catheter is passed under the scalp and skin and into the abdomen. Joining the two catheters is a pressure regulatory valve. This serves to divert fluid into the abdomen where it can be absorbed. ...Read more

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How do you take care of a child with a shunt for hydrocephalus?

How do you take care of a child with a shunt for hydrocephalus?

Normally: As long as the shunt functions well, ther essentially is nothing that needs done other than to treat your child normally, with perhaps some care to avoid situations where there may be head trauma. ...Read more

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Are there any options other than a shunt to help with hydrocephalus ?

Possibly.: Hydrocephalus is caused by a blockage in cerebrospinal fluid flow. Depending on exactly where the blockage is, it might be amenable to an endoscopic 3rd ventriculostomy, where a small hole is punctured in the floor of the third ventricle to relieve the blockage. No external shunt is needed in these cases. If the blockage is in the wrong area however, this will not work. ...Read more

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Are there tests to see if I still have hydrocephalus? I have a shunt.

CT & Neuro tests: Generally, hydrocephalus poses specific neurologic signs & symptoms (Sx), which lead 2 testing. Dilated ventricles (fluid sacs in brain) can b seen on CT scan. U may have "frozen ventricle" meaning an abnormal CT scan w/o Sx; or shunt malfunction w/ Sx. If u r having symptoms like when u were 1st diagnosed, TTY neurologist, who can perform specific neurologic tests (tandem walk, etc.) 4 diagnosis. ...Read more

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How should you know if there is a problem with a hydrocephalus shunt?

Many different thing: Shunt malfunction may cause neurologic symptoms, such as headaches or sometimes seizures. A ct scan will usually show recurrent hydrocephalus in cases of shunt malfunction, but this may take some time to occur. It is important to have old studies for comparison. ...Read more

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How often are there complications during shunt placement for hydrocephalus?

Not often: Shunt placement procedure is usually safe. Malplacement, small amount of bleeding could rarely occur. It's important to note that 50% of shunts will fail in the first 2 years and will need to be revised. ...Read more

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What's are the difference between the three available programmable shunts commonly used to treat hydrocephalus?

Several Differences: Several differences exist. One the number of pressure settings, available to program, another is the ability to tolerate exposure to mri. Finally, the ability to 'virtually shut the device off' by using a high pressure setting is another feature present that may or may not be present in a given device. Disclosure: i work for one of the companies that make these devices. ...Read more

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Dr. James Goodrich
703 doctors shared insights

Hydrocephalus (Definition)

Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is swelling of the brain and fluid build up in the skull. Symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, altered ...Read more