Treatments for Ventriculomegaly in Children

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Contact the Neonatal and Congenital Anomaly Neurosurgery Program

Clinicians in the Neonatal and Congenital Anomaly Neurosurgery Program at Boston Children's Hospital are experienced in treating hydrocephalus. When surgery is necessary, we use minimally invasive techniques to avoid placement of a shunt whenever we can. Our experts are highly experienced in all of these procedures, and will work with you and your family to determine which approach best suits your child.

How is ventriculomegaly treated?

Ventriculomegaly only needs to be treated if a child also has hydrocephalus, a term that describes any number of problems that cause cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to either build up abnormally in the brain.

Hydrocephalus may be treated by:

  • shunt placement :a process in which a small tube is implanted while the child is under anesthesia . This provides continual internal drainage of cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricles of the brain into the  abdominal cavity.
  • endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV): This minimally invasive procedure creates an opening in the floor of the third ventricle in the brain, allowing the entrapped fluid to escape from the ventricles into its normal circulation pathway.
  • combined endoscopic third ventriculostomy/choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC): a treatment developed by Benjamin C. Warf, MD, director of the Neonatal and Congenital Anomaly Neurosurgery Program at Children's. This technique is effective for infants, in whom ETV alone is not as successful as in older children. CPC reduces the rate of fluid production, while ETV restores the normal fluid circulation.

Coping & support

We know that this information about ventriculomegaly may be anxiety-provoking and even overwhelming. Remember that it's normal and acceptable to go through a range of emotions when your child has a medical condition. Fortunately, there is a lot of help available to you.

This list outlines some of the resources in the wider community that may be helpful to you:

Outside resources:

Please note that neither Boston Children's Hospital, the Hydrocephalus Program nor the Neonatal and Congenital Anomaly Neurosurgery Program at Boston Children's unreservedly endorses all of the information found at the sites listed below.

  • The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) consists of 38 regional and national umbrella organizations for spina bifida and hydrocephalus. The mission of IF is to improve the quality of life of people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus throughout the world.
  • HyFI: Hydrocephalus Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and educational resources for children and families affected by hydrocephalus.
  • Hydrocephalus Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and educational resources for children and families affected by hydrocephalus, and also promotes new areas of research.
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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