Normal pressure hydrocephalus Is a brain condition that interferes with your memory and mobility. Because of the similarity of symptoms, this condition is often misdiagnosed as dementia. It usually presents with the classic triad of cognitive impairment, urinary incontinence, difficulty walking …… (weird, wet and wobbly!)
As a skilled neurosurgeon, Christopher Duma, MD, FACS, offers comprehensive diagnostic care and treatment services for normal pressure hydrocephalus, including minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Duma uses the latest 3D imaging and planning surgical techniques, including Surgical Theater and Stealth stereotactic navigation, to minimize surgical risks in order to relieve pressure in your brain and carefully monitor you for possible surgical complications.
What to know about normal pressure hydrocephalus
Normal pressure hydrocephalus is the result of abnormal cerebrospinal fluid that builds up in the cavities of your brain. This fluid buildup causes the cavities of your brain to enlarge, putting excess pressure on your brain. The fluid can also disrupt the normal flow of fluid in your brain and spinal cord and can lead to a variety of health complications like:
- Memory problems
- Mobility issues
- Changes in bladder control
Cerebrospinal fluid can build up in your brain because of an underlying brain tumor, infection, or from head trauma. If you have brain surgery, you may also be at increased risk for normal pressure hydrocephalus. There are also some cases in which fluid builds up for no identifiable reason.
The typical treatment for normal pressure hydrocephalus involves a minimally invasive surgery to implant a shunt that supports the proper flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
Understanding the potential surgical complications
The goal of surgery for normal pressure hydrocephalus is to place a shunt that promotes drainage of excess fluids into your abdomen. Although there are risks with any type of surgery, this procedure may pose specific risks to your long-term health.
Surgery for normal pressure hydrocephalus can increase your risk for complications like:
- Blood clots
- Abdominal pain
Less common is the risk of seizures that can occur because of trauma in the sensitive areas of your brain.
Another possible side effect of surgery for normal pressure hydrocephalus is the blockage of your shunt. If a full or partial blockage of your shunt occurs, it can lead to another buildup of cerebrospinal fluids and a return of your symptoms. A blocked shunt can also become infected in the months after surgery.
Normal pressure hydrocephalus surgical outcome
As everyone reacts differently to surgery, Dr. Duma offers individualized attention and care to prevent complications. He can also provide you with an early diagnosis as soon as your symptoms start to increase your chances for a full recovery.
Following your procedure, Dr. Duma continues to monitor your healing progress and can address early signs of infection or shunt blockage.
As estimated 80% of people who receive a proper diagnosis and early treatment experience significant and fast improvement of their symptoms soon after surgery. For some, it can take several weeks or months to see the full benefit of shunt placement.
If you have concerns about your persistent forgetfulness or memory problems, schedule a diagnostic evaluation for normal pressure hydrocephalus as soon as possible. You can call the office of Christopher Duma, MD, FACS, or request an appointment online today.