Neurosurgery located in Birmingham, AL

Hydrocephalus services offered in Birmingham, AL

According to statistics compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), as many as two out of every 1,000 American children are born with hydrocephalus, and adults can also develop the condition. For those residing in and around Birmingham, Alabama, the team at Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine offers treatment options that can help. Book your visit online or by phone today to get started. 

Hydrocephalus Q&A

What is hydrocephalus?

A fluid, called cerebrospinal fluid, surrounds your brain. This fluid provides a liquid “cushion” that absorbs shock to protect your brain. It also delivers nutrients to your brain, removes waste products, and helps regulate changes in pressure. 

Hydrocephalus develops when excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates, creating excess pressure that can damage your brain. Most cases of hydrocephalus develop during early childhood, but adults can also develop the condition. 

How does hydrocephalus develop?

A number of different factors can cause hydrocephalus. Some examples include:

  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Traumatic injury
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumor
  • Certain diseases
  • Abnormally high cerebrospinal fluid production
  • Pressure abnormalities within your skull

In many cases, there is no clear cause of hydrocephalus. If you have been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, your provider at Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine will try to identify what caused your hydrocephalus.

Some of the indications that you have this condition include:

  • Headache
  • Impaired vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive changes
  • Lethargy
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Difficulty walking

Hydrocephalus can occur in any age group and symptoms can vary by both age and cause.

What are the treatment options for hydrocephalus?

The primary means of treating hydrocephalus involves removing excess cerebrospinal fluid. Removing this fluid is often accomplished by implanting a shunt, a thin, flexible tube connected to a catheter and valve. 

This system helps drain excess cerebrospinal fluid away from your brain and to a different area of your body, like your peritoneal cavity. Your body then processes and eliminates the excess fluid. 

A shunt remains in place for the rest of your life. In some cases, a procedure is required to revise the shunt system after some time by replacing some or all of the components. 

In certain cases of hydrocephalus, the best treatment option is creating a small opening in the base of your brain to allow excess cerebrospinal fluid to exit safely. This approach is called endoscopic third ventriculostomy and is performed using minimally invasive procedures. 

If you learn you or a loved one has hydrocephalus, reach out to Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine to schedule a consultation. Online booking is an option, or you can always call and speak with a friendly member of the administrative staff to check appointment availability.