Endoscopic surgery of the hydrocephalus

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This surgical procedure has rapidly increased in popularity in recent years. Endoscopy is already well known in the form of gastric fiberscopy and colonoscopy, and a finer model of an endoscope is also used in neurosurgery. A small opening, around the size of a thumbprint, is made in the cranium, and the endoscope is inserted through this hole into the space (cerebral ventricle) where the excess spinal fluid has accumulated and is causing the hydrocephalus. A special device is then inserted through the endoscope to make an opening in the wall of the cerebral ventricle in order to improve the passage of spinal fluid. When a shunt is used, a tube, which is a foreign object to the body, is implanted semi-permanently from the head to the abdomen, but this is not required in endoscopic treatment.

This procedure is suitable for patients who meet certain conditions, including being at least 6 years old and showing no exchange of spinal fluid between ventricles. Not all patients are suited to undergoing endoscopy, and in many cases a shunt may provide a better method of treatment. For patients with normal-pressure hydrocephalus, shunts are a more appropriate treatment than endoscopy.

[ Making an opening in the wall of the cerebral ventricle ]

[ Close-up of the opening ]

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