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Born with congenial hydrocephalus. Has shunt. Noticed fluid build up. Cause? Remedy?

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Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 146 Questions
my baby is 4 months old and was born with congenial hydrocephalus. she has a shunt and there is fluid buildup around the shunt valve. i was by the neuro sergeon yesterday and they took and mri and xray of my baby and everthing came out ok. ns said that sometimes there can be fluid buildup even if everything is ok. so how does the fluid buildup happen? why would there be fluid buildup if everything is ok? what happens when there is fluid buildup? does fluid come out of the shunt under the skin. is there a leek in the shunt. does it come out of the hole that the sergion makes when he places the shunt?

i emailed a picture of the shunt to customer care. i tried uploading it on the website but it didnt work.
Posted Sat, 27 Jul 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Praveen K Nath 30 hours later
Dear Madam,
Hello & my best wishes for a speedy recovery to your baby.
I have gone through your baby’s history in detail. I saw his photograph also.
She has a fluid collection around shunt track. It’s not a very unusual thing, especially in a new born baby with a congenital hydrocephalus & shunt in situ.
If everything on MRI BRAIN is ok & patient is not showing any sign of infection/septicemia, NOTHING is required. Just wait & watch. Gradually fluid goes back into tissues.
At the most, one can apply local pressure bandage to fasten the absorption & decreasing the collection of fluid in this space

Most of the times this fluid comes from the opening in skull, not from shunt leakage

Hope this answers all your queries.

dr XXXXXXX k XXXXXXX XXXXXXX consultant neurosurgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Born with congenial hydrocephalus. Has shunt. Noticed fluid build up. Cause? Remedy? 11 hours later

is there a way to drain the fluid thats there? what happens when i press the valve? does fluid come from the brain into the valve?

thanks for your clear answer.

Answered by Dr. Praveen K Nath 12 hours later

Yes, fluid can theoretically be drained through needle aspiration , but normally it is not recommended as there are chances of refilling & infection.
practically it should be left as such, at the most you can give a compression bandage.
when you press the shunt valve CSF comes into the shunt & drained forward. flow of CSF is normally checked through repeat CT SCAN brain.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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