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Hydrocephalus - Best Neurosurgeon and Neurologist in Bangalore | Dr.Venugopal


Hydrocephalus is a condition in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Although hydrocephalus was once known as “water on the brain,” the “water” is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The excessive accumulation of CSF results in an abnormal dilation of the spaces in the brain called ventricles. This dilation causes potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain.

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The causes of hydrocephalus are not all well understood. Hydrocephalus may result from developmental disorders such as those associated with neural tube defects including spina bifida and encephalocele. Other possible causes include complications of premature birth such as intraventricular hemorrhage, diseases such as meningitis, tumors, traumatic head injury, or subarachnoid hemorrhage blocking the exit from the ventricles to the cisterns and eliminating the cisterns themselves.


Symptoms vary with age, disease progression and individual differences in tolerance to CSF. For example, an infant’s ability to tolerate CSF pressure differs from an adult’s. The infant skull can expand to accommodate the buildup of CSF because the sutures (fibrous joints that connect the bones of the skull) have not yet closed. In infancy, the most obvious indication of hydrocephalus is the rapid increase in head circumference or an unusually large head size. Other symptoms may include vomiting, sleepiness, irritability, downward deviation of the eyes (also called “sun setting”) and seizures.
Older children and adults may experience different symptoms because their skulls cannot expand to accommodate the buildup of CSF. Symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Papilledema (swelling of the optic disk which is part of the optic nerve)
  • Isual disturbances: blurred vision, diplopia (double vision), and sun setting of the eyes
  • Difficulty with balance, poor coordination, and gait disturbance Urinary incontinence
  • Slowing or loss of development
  • Lethargy, drowsiness, irritability and or other changes in personality or cognition including memory loss


Implanting of a shunt system is a relatively short surgical procedure. An incision shall be made on the scalp and a small hole in the skull. This hole will allow access to the ventricle where the catheter will be placed. This catheter will be connected to the valve, which will allow the CSF to drain away from the brain. Lastly, another small incision is made in the abdomen to pass the end of the catheter into the abdominal cavity. Once all of the connections are made, the shunt system will automatically open to drain excess CSF whenever the pressure in the skull exceeds the opening pressure set on the valve

neurosurgery in bangalore