Shunt Surgery For Glaucoma or NPH(Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus)

Glaucoma is one of the major causes of vision loss. Glaucoma is an ophthalmologic disorder wherein the optic nerve becomes damaged. Glaucoma also causes an increase in intraocular pressure, which if left untreated, can cause extreme pain and eventual blindness. It is important to treat Glaucoma when it is first diagnosed and to decrease the intraocular pressure to decrease the likelihood of further damage.

Shunt surgery is very common and is also performed for other neurological conditions.

Shunt Surgery for Glaucoma

  • Shunt surgery in treating glaucoma usually refers to a tube shunt insertion.

  • The surgeon makes use of a flexible plastic tube and placed it in the affected eye.

  • The end of the tube is placed where lymphatic drainage can help in the removal of excess fluid from the body.

  • The purpose the shunt insertion is to help drain aqueous humor from the eye and relieve pressure from the eye.

  • Tube shunt insertion is usually indicated for conditions such as active uveitis, failed trabeculectomy, inadequate conjunctiva, neovascular glaucoma, and similar others.

Shunt Surgery for NPH

  • NPH refers to normal pressure hydrocephalus.

  • This condition commonly presents in adults.

  • The condition is basically an accumulation of excess CSF in the brain causing the brain’s ventricles to enlarge.

  • This condition presents with a hallmark triad of symptoms.

  • Many of the symptoms of NPH are similar to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease making people confused at first.

  • Proper diagnosis of NPH is needed in order to start prompt and appropriate treatment.

  • Shunt surgery is required for NPH in order to drain excess CSF from the brain.

  • The result is a relief from the symptoms and normalization of CSF volume in the brain.

  • With this surgery, a ventriculoperitoneal shunt is used.

  • One end of the shunt is placed at the brain’s ventricles and the other end placed in the peritoneal cavity where the fluid can be absorbed and eliminated from the body.

Shunt Surgery for Hydrocephalus

  • Hydrocephalus is referred to as the excess accumulation of CSF in the brain’s ventricles.

  • Hydrocephalus can be observed in infants and young children.

  • These patients often present a large head contrary to normal size.

  • The brain’s ventricles are responsible for forming CSF.

  • Under normal conditions, the amount of CSF produced should also be the same amount absorbed by the brain.

  • When an imbalance occurs, CSF builds up in the brain and causes the ventricles to enlarge and the patient starts to exhibit symptoms.

  • The primary treatment of hydrocephalus is ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgery.

  • The excess fluid in the brain is displaced into the peritoneum where it can be absorbed and eliminated from the body.

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