Cerebrospinal fluid is the fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord providing a soft cushion. Sometimes this fluid is unable to circulate properly and begins to buildup within the brain. The buildup of cerebrospinal fluid within the skull is known as a condition called hydrocephalus. This build up of fluid causes pressure inside the head, and can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and discomfort.
Here at Austin Neurosurgeons, we offer specialized Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery for the correction of hydrocephalus.
Symptoms of Hydrocephalus
Symptoms that may suggest hydrocephalus include:
- Decreased cognitive function
- Trouble with balancing and walking
What is VP Shunt Surgery?
In order to alleviate the built up fluid within the brain, a shunt is placed to drain the excess fluid. A shunt is a specialized drainage tube that may also be referred to as a ventricular catheter. A shunt is typically plastic, and about 0.3cm wide. Shunts contain valves which allows the fluid to drain out, but not back towards the brain. A long catheter is attached to the valve behind the ear, down the neck, and into your abdomen. It is not visible once it is in place. It works by draining extra fluid from the brain to other parts of the body where it is absorbed harmlessly. The experts at Austin Neurosurgeons utilize the most popular type of shunt known as a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. This is a tube that travels from the ventricles of the brain into the abdomen. Shunts can be used as a temporary or permanent measure for the treatment of hydrocephalus.
What to Expect
Our Neurosurgeons are passionate about helping each patient to feel supported and comfortable as possible. During treatment, our highly trained staff is here to answer any questions you may have leading up to the procedure. Prior to the surgery, it is important to discuss important aspects of your health, as well as pre-op preparations.
The VP shunt procedure is performed in the operating room under anesthesia for optimal patient comfort.
The process involves making 3 small incisions which are made in the head, neck, and abdomen. This is to help guide the catheter and place it correctly beneath the skin. Once the catheter is gently placed, the incisions are closed. You will not be able to see the catheter once it is in place.
Following the procedure, you will be provided with post-op care in order to ensure a speedy and healthy recovery.
If you would like to learn more about the personalized treatments we offer to correct hydrocephalus with VP shunt, reach out to the professionals here at Austin Neurosurgeons located in Austin, TX. Contact us today and schedule your consultation towards improved overall health.