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The traditional treatment for hydrocephalus has been the placement of a catheter (tube) in the brain cavity (ventricle) and running the catheter into the abdomen (peritoneum) to drain excess fluid, called a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. The drawback to this procedure though, has been the failure of these mechanical devices and frequent revisions. Up to 50% of the adults with ventriculo-peritoneal shunts will have a failure within 5 years.
Walter Grand, MD has participated in developing a new, highly successful technique, called Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV). ETV is a surgical procedure in which a device with a camera (endoscope) is inserted through a small incision. The endoscope punctures a membrane in the brain and allows an alternative flow and release of pressure of the fluid (CSF) to the brain. The advantage of ETV over a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt is that there is no implantation of hardware and no incision in the abdomen with its associated complications. The key to good results in ETV is surgical experience and proficiency and careful patient selection. Not all patients are candidates for the procedure.
A high level of expertise is necessary to evaluate and treat patients with hydrocephalus. Often, symptoms of hydrocephalus can mirror those of primary dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease). Drs. Grand and Leonardo have extensive experience in the diagnosis of each condition and provide unique clinical skills in determining the proper treatment plan. An on-sight rehabilitation medicine consultation, performed by Susan Bennett, MD, will evaluate the potential and scope of patient recovery and improved independence.
The Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy procedure usually takes one hour and patients can expect to spend three day(s) in the hospital. Once home, patients can usually return to work and normal life after four weeks.