Hydrocephalus

The Norton Children’s board-certified neurosurgery team is led by Thomas M. Moriarity, M.D., Ph.D., a recognized leader in the field with extensive experience and specialized training. Our physicians have the sophisticated tools and skills to give you and your child a precise diagnosis and treatment plan for hydrocephalus that minimizes risks so your child can get back to being a kid.

What Is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus refers to the buildup of fluid in and around the brain. You may hear the phrase “water on the brain,” but the fluid isn’t actually water — it’s cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF. Some amount of CSF is necessary to cushion and protect the brain, but an excess of it creates pressure on the brain, which can lead to permanent damage if left untreated.

Hydrocephalus can happen as a result of many different things, and it affects people of all ages. Some children are born with it; others develop it as children or adults.

Hydrocephalus Treatment

To relieve pressure on the brain, doctors may opt to implant a shunt — a small tube that allows excess CSF to leave the brain and go someplace else in the body to be reabsorbed. Often, it’s routed to the abdominal cavity. This is called a ventriculoperitoneal shunt.

In some cases, shunts can be avoided altogether, and minimally invasive surgical techniques can be used instead. These options require specific conditions to be met, which the specialists at Norton Children’s Hospital will go over with you.

Why Norton Children’s Neurosciences?

  • The Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a Level 4 epilepsy center, the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Norton Children’s Hospital has held this designation since 2013.
  • We are the first in Kentucky and among first in the nation to use neurostimulation in a pediatric patient.
  • Regional neurology care is available for children across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We travel to clinics in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana. We also perform a number of telemedicine visits each week.
  • The specialists with Norton Children’s Neurosciences use state-of-the-art technology to treat epilepsy, uncontrollable seizures and deep brain tumors in children who in the past would not be candidates for surgery, including:
    • Visualase: Technology that allows neurosurgeons to perform MRI-guided laser ablation surgery. Fewer than two dozen pediatric hospitals in the U.S. offer this technology.
    • Surgical Theater: Virtual reality (VR) technology that creates an immersive 3D view of a patient’s brain, allowing neurosurgeons, the patient and family to see inside the skull and brain to get a greater understanding of the condition and impact of potential procedures. Norton Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in the region to use this technology.
  • Dedicated multidisciplinary clinics for brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, craniofacial injuries and disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, spasticity, headache/migraine, autism and neurocutaneous disorders.
  • Our multidisciplinary craniofacial program was the first established in the Midwest.
  • We offer a neurogenetics clinic to evaluate and treat children with neurogenetic syndromes.
  • We have a neuropsychology program that specializes in the evaluation of children and teens with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental and medical conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy.
  • Outpatient neurology facilities in downtown Louisville are equipped with in-office electroencephalography (EEG) capabilities and laboratory services in the same building, creating a streamlined, family-centered environment.
  • We offer the region’s first clinic to treat children with immune-mediated neurologic disorders.
Neuroscience

Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurology team
(502) 588-3650

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurosurgery team
(502) 583-1697

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