Hydrocephalus refers to an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Once known as “water on the brain,” the “water” is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A buildup of CSF results in an abnormal widening of the spaces in the brain called ventricles. This widening can cause harmful pressure on brain tissues.
We treat all types of hydrocephalus—communicating and noncommunicating hydrocephalus, for example—specializing in the use of endoscopic treatments. This includes endoscopic third ventriculostomy, a procedure in which the neurosurgeon creates an opening in the floor of a brain ventricle at the base of the brain, unblocking trapped CSF and allowing it to flow in and around the brain normally. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy is available as a stand-along procedure or in conjunction with bilateral choroid plexus coagulation, a treatment of the choroid plexus, which is the part of the brain that produces CSF.
If endoscopic third ventriculostomy is not a feasible treatment option, placement of a ventricular shunt can be performed. With shunting, a catheter is placed into the ventricle of the brain and this catheter is then connected to a valve and tubing to drain excess CSF, usually into the belly or chest area, where it can be absorbed into the body.