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Hydrocephalus for father age 70 years
My father has previous history of brain haemorrhage in 2007. Now from past few days we observed his speech is slurry and faces difficulties in standing. Doctor said he has hycephalus 43mm diameter and needs surgery . As he is 70 years old is is surgery advised ? he is very weak and I am very unsure whether he can sustain the surgery. Experts please help me .is surgery necessary or any alternative way apart from surgery .
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As a neurosurgeon, I can understand your concern about the risks associated with surgery for your elderly father. However, based on the information provided, a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery may be necessary to treat his hydrocephalus and potentially improve his symptoms. Hydrocephalus is a condition where there is an excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain's ventricles, causing them to enlarge. This can lead to increased intracranial pressure, which can cause various symptoms, including slurred speech, difficulties with balance and walking, cognitive impairment, and other neurological deficits. The need for a VP shunt surgery is typically determined by the severity of the hydrocephalus and the associated symptoms. In your father's case, with a ventricular diameter of 43mm and worsening symptoms such as slurred speech and difficulty standing, a VP shunt may be necessary to drain the excess CSF and potentially alleviate these symptoms. Pros of VP shunt surgery: 1. It can effectively relieve the elevated intracranial pressure caused by hydrocephalus, potentially improving or resolving symptoms such as speech difficulties, balance issues, and cognitive impairment. 2. It is a relatively common and well-established procedure, with a high success rate in treating hydrocephalus. 3. It can improve the patient's quality of life by alleviating the debilitating symptoms associated with hydrocephalus. Cons and potential risks of VP shunt surgery: 1. Age and overall health status: As your father is 70 years old and described as weak, the surgery and general anesthesia may pose higher risks due to his advanced age and overall health condition. 2. Surgical complications: As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks, including bleeding, infection, shunt malfunction, or overdrainage of CSF. 3. Shunt revisions: In some cases, shunts may need to be revised or replaced due to complications or malfunctions, which may require additional surgical procedures. While surgery carries risks, especially for elderly patients, untreated hydrocephalus can lead to further neurological deterioration and potentially life-threatening consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to weigh the risks and benefits carefully, considering your father's overall health status, the severity of his symptoms, and the potential impact on his quality of life. Regarding alternatives to surgery, there are limited options for treating hydrocephalus. In some cases, serial lumbar punctures (removal of CSF via a needle in the lower back) may provide temporary relief, but this is usually not a long-term solution and may not be appropriate for all patients. It is important to have an in-depth discussion with the neurosurgeon and your father's healthcare team to understand the specifics of his condition, the potential risks and benefits of the surgery, and the team's recommendations based on their assessment. Additionally, it is crucial to involve your father in the decision-making process, if possible, and consider his preferences and quality of life goals. If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to ask for clarification or additional information.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
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Disclaimer : The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.