Hydrocephalus Program

Hydrocephalus occurs when the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord builds up in the ventricles of the brain. This buildup of fluids can cause the ventricles in the brain to enlarge. Sometimes this causes increased pressure in the head, and can, lead to brain injury and possible mental, developmental and physical disabilities.

If your child has suspected or diagnosed hydrocephalus, you are probably anxious and afraid of what this could mean for your family. The pediatric neurosurgery team at Floating Hospital for Children in Boston is here for you every step of the way. Hydrocephalus is one of the most common conditions that we see and treat – we have a lot of experience with this condition and are confident that we can provide your child the best treatments possible.

Determining the best treatment plan for your child’s hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus can be diagnosed at any time in a child’s life- from prenatally through childhood and adulthood. Its presentation is widely variable.  If hydrocephalus is suspected, your pediatrician may refer you to see the pediatric neurology or neurosurgery teams at Floating Hospital for Children in Boston.

Our teams work together to get an accurate diagnosis of your child’s condition and determine the best possible treatment plan. To get an in-depth understanding of your child’s hydrocephalus, we will conduct a thorough physical and may order scans like X-rays, an MRI, a CT or an ultrasound.

Depending on the results of the imaging studies, our team may recommend a surgical approach as the best course of action.  

Surgical treatment of hydrocephalus

The Floating Hospital pediatric neurosurgery team offers two of the most commonly used surgical treatment approaches for hydrocephalus, which are:

Placing a shunt or tube in the ventricles – The placement of a shunt in the brain allows our team to drain the spinal fluid that has built up in the ventricles and direct it to other parts of the body, alleviating the enlarged ventricles that have caused the condition.

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy – Certain types of hydrocephalus can be treated endoscopically. During this procedure, our neurosurgeons use a small camera and make a tiny hole in the ventricle to create a new path for the spinal fluid to flow.

Long-term care at Floating Hospital

Follow-up care for hydrocephalus at Floating Hospital is determined based on the complexity of your child’s condition. The pediatric neurosurgery team may ask you to come back in for clinical follow-up and imaging. This condition has a chance for recurrent symptoms, so we may schedule your child for an annual check-up so that we can observe any changes and provide reminders on individualized signs and symptoms that you should watch for and keep an eye on. 

Jesse Winer, MD

Jesse Winer, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery; Pediatric Neurosurgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5878
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Pediatric neurosurgery

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