It Really Is Brain Surgery

By Michelle Emick Ronholm

There were so many fantastic sessions and activities during the 11th National Conference on Hydrocephalus.  But one of the most impactful components of the conference was the opportunity to watch live surgeries to treat hydrocephalus.

The conference launched with a tutorial on the brain, how it functions, how hydrocephalus impacts it and how surgery helps to improve brain function.  All the charts and graphs that we saw in that presentation came to life when Mark Luciano, MD,  Co-director, Aging Brain Center, Section Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery Cleveland Clinic Foundation and member of the HA Medical Advisory Board  allowed cameras into the operating room so conference participants, sitting in a lecture hall across the street, could see exactly what happens.

Dr. Luciano performed two surgeries on two different days of the conference — one was a shunt placement surgery and one was an Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy (ETV). We will be posting official footage from the surgery once we have it in hand. Luckily, our friends in Detroit have posted it on their YouTube channel so we are able to share this rough (but pretty good!) video.

6 Comments for : It Really Is Brain Surgery
    • Megan Smead
    • August 17, 2010
    Reply

    My 10 year old has been through 46 revisions and he He has 4 shunts that all drain to the pleural he amazes me every day . thank goodness for advancimg medicine and the Dr.’s behind it!!

    • Nicky
    • August 12, 2010
    Reply

    Thank you – I never thought I would be grateful for ‘rogue’ videographers. Can’t wait to see the ‘official’ film. Many thanks for all you do.

    • LeAnn
    • August 11, 2010
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this video. My son underwent ETV surgery at age 18 after a shunt malfunction. He has done wonderfully and is now 21 years old and entering his Junior year of college. It’s amazing how far technology has come. Let’s keep it going!!! Thank you to all the researchers and physicians.

  1. Reply

    Very nice video. It is interesting that many people you meet in everyday life are unfamiliar with hydrocephalus and CNS shunts. Upon hearing that you are a person with a brain shunt, they offer up a variety of responses. Perhaps the more common one is wondering how medical science is able to do it. And I respond with this:

    “It is far more complicated to get a commercial jet to fly from city to city than to get a shunt to work. But no one questions the commercial jet. A shunt is actually quite simple by comparison.”

    “The bigger challenge,” I explain, “is in convincing society to embrace the same committment to shunts, that we have come to expect in airliners. They are both just just technology.”

    Stephen

  2. Reply

    Many people you meet in everyday life are unfamiliar with hydrocephalus and CNS shunts, and upon hearing that you are a person with a shunt, offer up a variety of responses. Perhaps the more common and intriguing one is wondering how medical science is able to do it. And I respond with this:

    “It is far more complicated to get a commercial jet to fly from one city to another than to get a shunt to work. No one questions airline technology. A shunt is actually quite simple by comparison. The bigger challenge I see is in convincing society to have the same committment in excellence to shunts, that we have come to demand in airliners.”

    Stephen

  3. Reply

    Thank you for sharing this amazing surgery video. I underwent this same shunt surgery in February, 2009. Approximately 10 days later the surgeons had to replace the shunt and have the catherer moved from my abdomen to my chest cavity, due to shunt failure from the original shunt.

    It is hard for folks that don’t have experience or knowledge of hydrocephalus to truly understand the enormity of a brain incidence is like. It is also difficult for others to understand the after affects that can happen to an individual living with Hydrocephalus. As a senior who never experienced any type of head trauma or any other type of disease that could have brought this condition on, I appreciate any other’s understanding and sharing of their experience with NPH.

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