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So, You Need An Operation For Hydrocephalus







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There are times when the fluid portion of the brain has increased to the extent that there is no more room in the skull to accommodate the extra fluid. The brain is being squeezed, there is increased pressure and symptoms are happening. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion can progress to lethargy, even coma and death. The pressure needs to be relieved by a device called a shunt (What is a Shunt?) . If the symptoms are progressing slowly, you may have the surgery arranged from the doctor's office. In this case, you will be sent to the Hospital for preadmission tests. These usually include some screening blood work, possibly an EKG to check your heart and a chest x-ray. There may be other tests depending upon your medical condition. You can request to speak to the anesthesiologist (the physician putting you to sleep for the surgery) to answer any questions about that part of the surgery. At midnight, the night before your surgery, you should not eat or drink anything further until after your surgery the next day. In some cases, it may be ok to take your medications in the morning with a tiny sip of water. You should check with your surgeon ahead of time regarding this. When you arrive at the hospital, you will check in at the admissions office and then be taken to the surgery holding area. Your chart will be reviewed to be sure all the test results and information needed for your surgery are there. You will be taken from the surgery holding area to the operating room. Your family/friends may then go to the waiting area until your surgery is finished. If you had gone to the Emergency Room and needed surgery right away, you would be taken directly from the emergency room to the holding area or right to surgery. There you will go to sleep and next thing you will know is that you are waking up in the recovery room!