You are probably wondering what exactly is hydrocephalus? Well it is more commonly known as water on the brain. This is when the absorption of the fluid that would normally bathes the brain is blocked. The fluid usually starts to collect in one location. The pressure then spreads apart all of the loosely connected parts of the skull, which will cause the head to become very enlarged. The enlarged head is really a clue to the doctor’s that there is a problem.
This disorder usually occurs with children who have had surgery on their spine. Some other symptoms are shiny thin scalp, underdeveloped neck muscles, strange looking eyes, a very high pitched and unusual cry, and lack of appetite and in some cases vomiting.
Many doctors consider this to be a relatively rare condition, but they do not know exactly who is susceptible. It is usually cased by a birth defect in the membrane that is supposed to help absorb cerebrospinal fluid, or a tumor. If the fluid is not drained on a regular basis retardation may occur as well as several additional problems. But how do they treat this type of disorder? The baby is usually placed under anesthesia and a tube is then inserted through a hole that is drilled into their skull, in order to drain the excess fluid.
The fluid will either be drained into the abdominal cavity, the pleural cavity, or into a major blood vessel. Gradually the head will return back to its normal size. After this procedure is done you will have to take your baby for regular checkup to make sure that the tube is not blocked in any way and that it still is working well. If the treatment is done early enough then retardation can be prevented, as well as additional problems.
Researchers are still trying to find ways to fix the problem without having to perform surgery. However nothing has been found yet. Trying to treat this problem before the baby is born has also been an unsuccessful process. If your baby is diagnosed with this disorder the best thing you can do as a parent is to follow the doctor’s instructions precisely.
I have known several children who had water on the brain at birth, and are now healthy adults with no problems or disabilities. So if your baby is diagnosed you should not think that it is suddenly the end of the world, they can still lead a perfectly normal life, if they are treated early enough.