Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), commonly known as “water on the brain,” is rare, affecting about 5 in 100,000 persons; however, for those suffering from NPH, quality-of-life can be drastically reduced. While NPH can happen because of an accident, an illness, or after brain surgery, most commonly NPH occurs for no specific reason. Since NPH more commonly affects adults aged 55 and older, often NPH symptoms are overlooked as being part of aging. This is unfortunate because if NPH is discovered in its earlier stages, an improvement of symptoms can be obtainable for some patients. Dr. Duma, a trusted Newport Beach neurosurgeon, has helped diagnose and treat many patients who are suffering from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.
What is Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus?
Calling NPH “water on the brain” is a deceptively casual way to term brain pressure caused from excess cerebrospinal fluid. In a healthy brain, cerebrospinal fluid flows smoothly through the brain and is absorbed through your blood stream. In a person with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, the spinal fluid is not absorbed efficiently into the blood stream. Over time built up pressure from excess fluid can cause a number of painful, uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous symptoms, including:
- Change in walk
- Forgetfulness or change in mood
- Difficulty controlling bladder and stool function.
- Death, if left untreated for too long
The most typical form of treatment for NPH is to have a shunt that runs from brain to another area of the body. A shunt is special tubing that allows excess fluid to flow from your brain into another area of the body for absorption, usually directed to the belly or heart. Patients will meet with Dr. Duma after surgery to ensure the shunt is customized properly and that the amount of fluids draining from the brain is optimal. Because Dr. Duma often uses programmable shunts, the procedure is typically a one-time procedure without needed revisional surgeries.
A top neurosurgeon in Orange County, Dr. Duma has spent his career improving his patients’ well-being through highly specialized surgery and excellent post-op care. The goal after surgery is for patients to find relief from their hydrocephalus symptoms. To learn more about treatment options through Dr. Duma’s office, please contact us with a question or call us at 949-642-6787.