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Third ventriculostomy

Third ventriculostomy is surgical procedure that is used to treat obstructive or non-communicating hydrocephalus (a blockage that is stopping the cerebrospinal fluid from flowing) in both children and adult patients.


A shunt or a small silicone tube to carry the fluid away from the brain is the most common form of treatment for hydrocephalus and in many cases lifesaving. As these are a man-made product they can sometimes be rejected by the body, which is where third ventriculostomy comes in.



Third ventriculostomy is a surgical alternative to a shunt; this treatment will only work for patients that have hydrocephalus caused by a blockage. During the procedure a hole is punched into the third ventricle to allow the fluid to flow away from the brain.


This is an endoscopic surgery, meaning that it is done with an endoscope. This is a tiny tube with a light, magnifying lens and an opening to allow surgical instruments to pass through.


The name third ventriculostomy comes from the site of the surgery (third ventricle). Blockages that cause hydrocephalus most commonly occur between the third and four ventricles of the brain.


Once the bypass has been made through the thin membrane of the third ventricle, the cerebrospinal fluid flows up and over the brain, then reabsorbed into the blood stream.


After the surgery you will be given to time to wake up after the general anaesthetic. Patients will usually stay in hospital for 2-3 days after the surgery and can leave once they have an appetite, can get out of bed and walk and manage their pain.


It is important that you attend your post-operative meeting to ensure that you are healing and that the surgery has been successful.


If you would like to talk to a member of our team about third ventriculostomy for hydrocephalus, please call us on +44 161 327 0681




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