Q. What is Hydrocephalus?
A. Hydrocephalus is the inability of the Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSP) that bathes the brain to escape from the skull. We all produce this fluid and in normal circumstances it leaves the brain via a channel into the spinal cord where it is absorbed into the blood stream. In Hydrocephalus this channel becomes blocked for various reasons.
Q. What causes It?
A. There are several causes of Hydrocephalus. Spina Bifida is one where the development of the neural tube defect causes a blockage and does not allow the fluid to escape. Other causes include premature birth, meningitis, head injury, benign cysts, however sometimes it is just not possible to identify a cause.
Q. Is it hereditary?
A. As you can see from the above Hydrocephalus usually develops for various reasons, therefore is not hereditary. However, some causes of Hydrocephalus can be hereditary, but these are very rare.
Q. What is the treatment?
A. A tube (catheter) and valve system is inserted in order to drain the fluid from the brain and into the abdomen, where it is then absorbed by the blood stream. This is now a routine operation and recovery is very quick.