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Hydrocephalus is a condition that is caused by too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inside the ventricles of your brain. Ventricles are spaces inside the brain where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced. CSF surrounds your brain and spinal cord. CSF is constantly being made and absorbed by your body. It moves through ventricles before it drains out and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. When CSF cannot drain properly, the fluid pressure may cause the ventricles to swell.



Follow up with your neurologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage hydrocephalus:

  • Keep your follow-up visits: Ask your primary healthcare provider when to return for follow-up visits. You may need CT scans before shunt adjustments every 2 to 3 weeks at first. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
  • Keep a headache diary: If your headaches get worse during treatment, your caregivers may suggest you keep a headache diary. Rate your headache, such as from mild to severe. Write down what you were doing when the headache started. Also note when you have been sitting or standing for a long time. Caregivers may use the headache diary to change your treatment if needed.
  • Report weight changes: Tell your caregivers if you gain or lose weight. Your shunt valve may need adjustment.

For support and more information:

  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda , MD 20824
    Phone: 1- 301 - 496-5751
    Phone: 1- 800 - 352-9424
    Web Address:

Contact your neurologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your neck and shoulders feel sore.
  • The skin around your shunt looks red and feels tender.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You feel sleepy, or have problems waking.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting, even after treatment.
  • You feel dizzy or your vision changes.
  • You had a seizure or lost consciousness.
  • You have a fever and a stiff neck, or you feel confused.
  • You have headaches that do not get better, even after you take medicine.

Learn more about Hydrocephalus (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.