Has anyone here had experience with shunt treatment for adult onset hydrocephalus? - AgingCare.com

Has anyone here had experience with shunt treatment for adult onset hydrocephalus?

Follow
Share

My Dad has adult onset hydrocephalus the cause is not certain although they did once mention it might have been caused by strokes. His symptoms have been cognitive decline and incontinence but his gait is not bad for his age and frail condition. His geriatrician did not think he would be a good candidate for a shunt. My sister (she is his health proxy) decided to take him to a specialist in another city. From what my Mom tells me the specialists are saying it is worth a try.

On the one hand it would be great if the shunt helped on the other hand I'm reading there is no way of knowing and even when it does help the benefits might be temporary. Dad already has quite a bit of brain atrophy and dead brain tissue. I don't think this can be reversed but maybe the shunt could help delay his decline however there are risks and Dad is very frail right now. If I ask my sister anything about Dads medical stuff she gets angry and accuses me of second guessing her and interfering. I would rather avoid that so I'm trying to find out more on my own just so I have a better idea of what to expect. Anyway I just wondered if anyone here has had personal experience with this? Thanks

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
4

Answers

Show:
Thank you vstefans! That's very helpful information.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Once in a while, it REALLY works. In good hands shunt infections are not real common and malfunctions can be dealt with. If you have one or two reliable medical opinions that this could be happening, as you said it could in fact be worth a try. It is a hard decision to make but it rarely makes people worse. I'll assume you've googled "Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus" and it certainly does sound like he has it. Here is one research article suggesting it is often helpful and not often harmful to provide a shunt: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3624902/
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you for your response and kind words GardenArtist. I don't know what the doctor said specifically. Mom only told me they said there could be complications. My Mom was not in the room with Dad and my sister, they had her sit outside, she gets upset with the doctors because she has difficulty hearing and does not understand the medical jargon so I guess they thought it best she not be in the room. I think that's probably for the best.

I did look up the kinds of things that could go wrong. Infection seems to be the thing that they have to watch for most. I think it's pretty safe but Dad IS 87. He survived sepsis last year but it left him very frail, he had two operations for an aortal aneurysm a few months ago and he has congestive heart failure. He has also had melanoma removed three times, all three were in situ and had not metastasized but he is still at risk for that. I just don't know if he should be subjected to yet more procedures and operations unless the outcome is really promising.

Having said that it's not my decision. My sister and brother are soon to be Dads conservators and my brother wants nothing to do with the medical stuff, just the financial. It's up to my sister and Dad trusts her completely with his medical decisions. I probably just need to leave it in the hands of fate and our maker and stop thinking about it....once again"sigh"
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I wish I had an answer but I have no experience with this. Hopefully someone else will though.

I recall some of your earlier posts and am saddened to read of this situation and do hope you get some answers. Perhaps a second or even third opinion might help with the decision process.

Did the specialist advise what side effects might occur and what the risks are?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Articles
  • Millions of people are affected by pain, tingling and numbness of the hand and wrist due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Although surgery for this syndrome is quite common, it may not always be necessary.
Related
Questions