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Definition of Hydrocephalus


Hydrocephalus is a disease that attacks the brain organ. Hydrocephalus patients experience a buildup of fluid in the brain which results in increased pressure on the brain. If not treated immediately, this pressure can damage tissue and weaken the function of the brain. Hydrocephalus can affect people at any age, but the disease usually affects infants and the elderly. Based on the symptoms, the disease hydrocephalus can be classified into three types.
Hydrocephalus
Congenital hydrocephalus 
This is the case since the new baby was born. Infants with congenital hydrocephalus, his head would look very large. Fontanelle fontanelle or they will look bloated and tense. Due to the baby's scalp is still thin, then the bubbles make the veins of the head to be seen clearly. Infants with hydrocephalus, had eyes that looks like to look down and leg muscles look stiff, and prone to seizures. Symptoms of congenital hydrocephalus the other is drowsiness, nausea, irritability, and difficulty eating.

Hydrocephalus obtained or acquired
This condition suffered by children and adults. In addition to the patient will experience nausea and neck pain, headache will also appear. The headache is usually very pronounced in the morning, after waking up. Other symptoms of this type of hydrocephalus is drowsiness, blurred vision, confusion, difficult to hold urinary or bowel incontinence, and difficulty walking. If not promptly treated, this condition can lead to coma and even death.

With normal pressure hydrocephalus
This condition is commonly experienced by seniors. Patients will find it hard to move your feet, so some of them were forced to drag the leg to run. Other symptoms are urinary control chaotic characterized by difficult to hold urine or often feel like urinating. In addition to the physical, normal pressure hydrocephalus also affect the patient's ability to think. They will be difficult to digest the information and slow in responding to situations or questions.

Immediately consult infant, child, or yourself to the doctor if you see or feel the symptoms of hydrocephalus. Especially in infants suffering from congenital hydrocephalus, if not handled properly, in the long term this condition can lead to complications such as:
  • Impaired coordination.
  • Epilepsy
  • Impaired vision.
  • Memory loss.
  • Learning difficulties ..
  • Speech disorders.
  • Difficulty concentrating and easily distracted attention.
Causes of Hydrocephalus
In our brain are called cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid serves as a provider of nutrients the brain needs to be able to continue to work well. This fluid also serves as the cleaning of waste derived from the metabolism of the brain, protecting the brain from injury, keep the brain remain afloat in position, and prevent the occurrence of a change of pressure in the brain.

Each day the lining tissue of the brain routinely produces cerebrospinal fluid. Liquids that are not used and then disposed of the body after being absorbed by the blood vessels.

Although the health benefits of brain, cerebrospinal fluid could backfire and turn harm the brain. This condition occurs when the amount of fluid produced greater than discarded. This is called hydrocephalus, namely the increasing volume of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Some triggers of disease hydrocephalus include:
  • Poor fluid absorption mechanism due to inflammation or injury to the brain.
  • Obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid flow due to abnormalities in the nervous system.
  • Infection of the fetus while still in the womb that causes inflammation in the brain tissue of the fetus.
  • Bleeding in the brain.
  • Brain tumor .
  • Severe head injury.
  • Stroke.
Diagnosis of hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus disease screening is usually done by a neurologist. The doctor will perform a number of simple checks, such as checking physical characteristics, coordination and balance the patient, checking the power of hearing, eyesight, sense of touch power, and check the tone, strength, and muscle reflexes. There is also the possibility that a doctor will examine the psychological condition of the patient.

To further ensure the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain or ascertain whether there are other conditions that cause similar symptoms with hydrocephalus, the doctor may do a brain scan. The procedure is done by:
  • CT scan. Usually used as an emergency inspection of the illness hydrocephalus. Through CT scans, cross-sectional images of the brain can be produced with X-ray technology.
  • MRI scan. This test aims to obtain detailed images of the brain using a magnetic field and radio waves.
  • Ultrasound. This test is relatively secure and low risk. Therefore, ultrasound is often used as an initial screening to detect hydrocephalus in a fetus or infant is born.
Treatment of Hydrocephalus
The main treatment of hydrocephalus is through surgery with the aim of removing excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. One type of surgery is surgery to deal with hydrocephalus shunt installation.

Shunt is a special instrument shaped hose paired by the surgeon into the head with the purpose of draining cerebrospinal fluid to other body parts to further absorbed by the blood vessels. Body parts are often chosen as the cerebrospinal fluid flow is the abdominal cavity. The shunt is equipped with a functioning valve that controls the flow of cerebrospinal fluid presence in the brain is not receding too fast.

Paired shunt in infants and children generally need to be replaced as the growth of their bodies to adjust to an increasingly large. It is estimated that as many as two times a shunt installation procedure will be performed on their children before the age of 10 years.

Hydrocephalus handling other types of surgery is endoscopic third ventriculostomy or ETV abbreviated. In contrast to the installation of shunt surgery, the ETV procedure, cerebrospinal fluid discharged by creating a new absorption holes in the surface of the brain. This procedure is usually applied in cases of hydrocephalus which is triggered by the blockage of the ventricles of the brain.

Side effects of treatment of Hydrocephalus
Operation proven effective in dealing with hydrocephalus. However, it is not likely this procedure can cause side effects later on. For example the installation of shunt surgery, side effects that arise are usually caused by damage or blockage of the tool itself. This is reasonable because the shunt is a tool made ​​of soft fabric material is susceptible to problems. For more details, here are some side effects that can occur after shunt installation procedure.
  • Infection. This condition is relatively common, especially a few months after surgery. Symptoms of post-installation of shunt infection include nausea, headache , stiff neck, fever, and pain around the track shunt. In children, they will often sleepy or cranky. If the infection is not too severe, the doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics only. But if alarming, shunt replacement surgery may be required.
  • If a shunt blockage is blocked, then the return of cerebrospinal fluid can accumulate in the brain. This condition must be treated because it can cause brain damage. In infants, the side effects will be identified from physical characteristics, such as swelling of the head back. In addition to swelling, the other shunt blockage symptoms are nausea, headache, drowsiness, confusion, and the worst is the comma. Just like an infection, shunt blockage is usually treated with surgery to shunt damaged.
  • Changing the position Sometimes shunt installed not in the right position and of course this can cause problems. In children, especially infants, incorrect positioning shunt can make a cerebrospinal fluid leak into the side of the hose. If they have a wound in the skin, the liquid will come out through the wound. Positioning a shunt in the head must be done carefully. If not, it can cause side effects, such as bleeding, neurological disorders, or seizures.
In addition to the installation of shunt surgery, side effects can also occur postoperative endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). Some side effects include:
  • Nerve problems that include a decrease in the function of one side of the body, hormonal imbalance, double vision, or even epilepsy.
  • Bleeding in the brain.
  • Damage to brain vessels.
  • Infection.
  • The failure of the brain to absorb cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Recapped the hole absorption of cerebrospinal fluid.
In the case of closing the hole absorption of cerebrospinal fluid ever created, the doctor can deal with ETV surgery again. But if still not successful ETV operations treat hydrocephalus, chances are your doctor will switch to the installation of shunt surgery.

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