Hydrocephalus is a condition where brain spinal fluid pressure is not controlled. Traditionally, the condition is divided into either communicating or non-communicating hydrocephalus. In non-communicating hydrocephalus, there is a blockage in the normal spinal fluid pathways leading to a backup of spinal fluid upstream. If left untreated, this condition can be very serious and even fatal. Communicating hydrocephalus involves the situation where brain spinal fluid is either over-produced, which is rare, or not reabsorbed into the bloodstream resulting in a backup of spinal fluid without the presence of a particular block in the spinal fluid pathway. Both forms can be serious if left untreated.
UNC is pleased to offer state-of-the-art treatment for patients suffering from hydrocephalus. Traditional treatments include medical therapy (less common), shunt placement or endoscopic third ventriculostomy. The latter is a procedure where a small opening is made with a scope to communicate the inside of the fluid spaces of the brain with the outer surface of the brain where the spinal fluid is reabsorbed. Our adult and pediatric programs are dedicated to providing the best possible therapy.
Neurosurgeon Carolyn Quinsey, MD, leads the physician team for hydrocephalus.