Hydrocephalus Treated by Experienced Neurosurgeons in Baltimore

Neurosurgery at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

The Minimally Invasive Brain and Spine Center at Mercy specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of brain and spinal conditions, including hydrocephalus. 

About the Condition

Hydrocephalus is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s cavities. Hydrocephalus occurs due to an imbalance between the amount of cerebrospinal fluid created and the amount absorbed into the blood stream. Typically, cerebrospinal fluid provides cushion and protection for the brain, but the pressure of excess fluid caused by hydrocephalus can diminish brain functionality and cause serious brain damage. 

Hydrocephalus is most commonly found in infants and older adults, but can happen at any age.

Risk factors for hydrocephalus include:

  • Brain tumors or lesions
  • Head injuries
  • Central nervous system infections
  • Strokes
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Hydrocephalus symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Inability to concentrate or think properly
  • Memory problems
  • Bladder control issues

When diagnosing hydrocephalus, a doctor may use:

  • CT or MRI
  • Neurological and physical examination
  • Presence of signs and symptoms
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Hydrocephalus typically requires surgical treatment. Common surgical treatments include:

  • A shunt – a drainage device used to regulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the brain
  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) – a procedure in which a neurosurgeon uses a small camera instrument (neuroendoscope) to:
    • View the brain and
    • Create a hole that allows cerebrospinal fluid to flow to areas of the brain where it can be absorbed