About this Surgery
Used to treat: Hydrocephalus
The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a drainage system, called a shunt. It consists of a long flexible tube with a valve that keeps fluid from the brain flowing in the right direction and at the proper rate. One end of the tubing is usually placed in one of the brain's ventricles. The tubing is then tunneled under the skin to another part of the body where the excess cerebrospinal fluid can be more easily absorbed, such as the abdomen, a chamber in the heart, or the pleural space near the lungs.
People who have hydrocephalus usually need a shunt system for the rest of their lives, so for a child, additional surgeries may be needed to insert longer tubing to match growth. Revisions to the shunt also may be needed if the tubing becomes blocked or infected.
Please keep in mind that all treatments and outcomes are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Complications, such as infection, blood loss, and bowel or bladder problems are some of the potential adverse risks of surgery. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warnings, precautions, adverse events, clinical results and other important medical information.