Hydrocephalus VP Shunt

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Hydrocephalus Treatment in India

Hydrocephalus refers to the buildup of fluid in the cavities of the skull which leads to the swelling of the brain. This causes brain damage due to increase in the pressure on the brain resulting in physical, developmental and intellectual impairment of the affected person. This condition can be fatal if timely treatment is not provided.

Symptoms

Symptoms of hydrocephalus vary with age due to the difference in their tolerance levels to the condition. They also change with the progression of the disease.

In babies born with hydrocephalus (congenital hydrocephalus), the physical features include:

  • Unusually large head size
  • Thin scalp with visible veins
  • Downward looking eyes
  • A bulging fontanel, i.e. a soft spot on the top of the baby’s head

Additionally, the child will have difficulty with feeding, vomiting, muscle stiffness or spasms in the lower limbs and difficulty with sleep.

In children who have acquired hydrocephalus after birth or in adults, the symptoms may include:

  • Headache that worsens after getting up in the morning
  • Blurring of vision
  • Difficulty to walk
  • Neck pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness which can progress to coma
  • Inability to control the bladder or sometimes bowel movements

Causes

Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an increase in the volume of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that circulates through the brain and the spinal cord. There is an increase in CSF due to the following reasons:

  • Excess production of CSF
  • Ability of the blood vessels to absorb the CSF gets impaired
  • Restricted  flow of CSF due to blockage

Diagnosis

If the doctor suspects hydrocephalus from the symptoms experienced by the person, he/she will perform a physical examination. This includes checking for the presence of slowed reflexes, bulged fontanel, sunken eyes and a larger head circumference than the normal.

Neurological examination includes checking for:

  • Muscle conditions such as reflexes, strength and tone
  • Sensory status including vision, sense of hearing and the sense of touch
  • Motor status including balance and coordination
  • Mental status

Further, the below tests may be ordered:

Imaging tests such as an ultrasound or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a CT (computerized tomography) scan may be required to the underlying cause of hydrocephalus. They can also detect structural changes such as enlargement of the ventricles associated with the increase in CSF.

Treatment

Hydrocephalus can be life-threatening if appropriate treatment is not provided. Treatment may not help in reversing the brain damage that has previously occurred. However, further damage can be prevented by restoring the normal flow of CSF. Hydrocephalus needs to be repaired by surgical approach. The options include:

  • Shunt surgery is the method in which a small, thin tube known as shunt is implanted in the brain. This shunt drains the excess fluid to any other part of the body, usually towards the tummy. From this place it is absorbed into the blood stream. The valve placed in the shunt controls the rate at which the CSF flows inside.
  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) is a surgical method in which a hole is made on the floor of the brain. The trapped CSF escapes into the surface of the brain from where it gets readily absorbed into the blood stream. This method is suitable only if obstruction in the flow of CSF is the cause of hydrocephalus.

Prevention

Hydrocephalus cannot be prevented; however, there are some ways to reduce the risk of developing this condition. The preventive measures are as follow.

  • Children and adults are always recommended to wear a helmet while riding bicycles, motor bikes or any other vehicles.
  • Wearing a seat belt is a must while driving as it ensures the individual’s safety.
  • Follow the list of vaccinations and screenings scheduled to prevent the development of infectious diseases.
  • Pregnant women are recommended to visit the doctor for regular prenatal checkup to prevent complications.

Happy Patients

Reshma Khanna

Businessman

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Dr. Vikas Gupta is a very good neurosurgeon. We are very satisfied with his stroke treatment for my mother. We were scared initially when our mom suffered from a brain stroke but Dr. Vikas assured us that with the help of surgery, she would be better. It’s been 3 months since her surgery and she is recovering well.

Aditya Singh

Lawyer

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Dr. Vikas is one of the best neurosurgeons that I know of. I visited him for my father’s brain surgery and like always, Dr. Vikas didn’t disappoint. The surgery was successful and my father has almost recovered from it. Thank you doctor for your guidance and support.

Sanket Malik

Hotelier

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My experience with Dr. Vikas Gupta was very good. He is kind, empathetic and helpful. He made sure we understood the problem which we were facing and was transparent and honest about everything. His diagnosis was accurate and treatment offered was cost effective

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Spine and Brain Healers provides advanced medical care in the field of Adult neurosurgery,Paediatric Neurosurgery surgery, and Interventional Neurosurgery .

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Copyright 2020 by Brandingpioneers. All rights reserved.