Living With a Shunt

Many people with normal pressure hydrocephalus enjoy a relatively normal life with the help of a shunt. Regular, ongoing checkups with the neurosurgeon will help ensure that your shunt is working correctly and your progress is on track.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus requires long-term follow-up care. It is important to have regular check-ups with the neurosurgeon so he or she can monitor your progress and test for any changes that may indicate a shunt malfunction.

Ongoing Medical Care

You’ll need to attend medical check-ups according to the schedule your neurosurgeon recommends. Physical and occupational therapy may also speed recovery and further enhance your health.

Results of Shunt Treatment

The symptoms associated with normal pressure hydrocephalus, such as walking difficulties, poor bladder control, and mild dementia, may improve quickly or may take weeks to months to improve.

Some people experience dramatic improvements, others only slight improvements, and still others don’t see any improvement at all. Cognitive impairment is the most difficult symptom to successfully relieve.

The success rate for treatment of normal pressure hydrocephalus varies, and neurosurgeons don’t agree on the factors that will lead to a successful outcome. For those individuals that do improve, changes usually occur in the first few weeks. However, a late response to treatment is also possible.

Emotional Support

The physical aspect of normal pressure hydrocephalus is just one part of dealing with this condition. Emotional factors for you and your family must also be considered. Sharing your feelings with your doctors will help them to provide the best professional guidance for you.

Many people handle their emotions with the help of relatives and friends. For others, professional help may be necessary. Healthcare professionals are interested in the total well-being of their individuals. The plan is always to do what is best for the individual and his or her family in an effort to accomplish this goal.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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