Recovery After surgery

Hydrocephalus – Symptoms & Treatment Options

What are the symptoms of Hydrocephalus?

What are the non-surgical treatment options?

What are the surgical treatment options?

Recovery After surgery

There are some complications associated with shunt systems, like mechanical failure, obstructions, infections and modifications to the catheter. These need to be constantly monitored and patients would still need to have regular medical check-ups. Patients often outgrow their shunt systems, requiring additional surgery to make changes to the system.

In some cases, problems with the shunt system can result in underdraining or overdraining. Symptoms of hydrocephalus return when underdraining happens. This is when the CSF is produced faster than it is drained and pools in the ventricles again. This can also result in an infection from the shunt, which would cause tenderness or redness along the area where the catheter lies, soreness of the shoulder or neck muscles and a low-grade fever.

On the other hand, overdraining is when the shunt system drains faster than they are produced. This can result in torn blood vessels and collapsed ventricles, which lead to headaches, hemorrhage or slit-like ventricles. If it’s suspected that there’s something wrong with the shunt system, your doctor must be contacted immediately.

The prognosis for this disorder differs from person to person. It is dependent on the cause of hydrocephalus, the outcome of surgery, any associated disorders, and timelines of the diagnosis. It is not certain whether the shunt system can actually reverse or minimize bran damage caused by the previous pressure from the excess CSF.

Hydrocephalus has great effect on cognitive and physical development. There are many children who undergo educational intervention and rehabilitation therapies after surgery and grow up to live normally. In these cases, it is important to have a heterogeneous mix of medical professionals, trained rehabilitation specialists and educational experts for rehab to succeed.

If hydrocephalus is not treated, it is fatal. Even normal pressure hydrocephalus gets worse over time, even if there are short-lived improvements when untreated. What increases the chances of recovering from this disorder is early diagnosis and treatment.