Hydrocephalus - Complications of hydrocephalus
NHS Choices Medical Reference
A shunt is a delicate piece of equipment�that is prone to malfunction, usually through blockage or infection.
The risk of a shunt blockage is highest in the first year after surgery, with an estimated risk of blockage at 20%. After this time, the risk falls to about 5%.
Shunt infection is also a relatively common complication. The risk can range from between 3-12% depending on age and general state of health.
If a shunt malfunctions, it will cause the symptoms of hydrocephalus, such as a headache, nausea and vomiting, to return.
A shunt malfunction can be very serious because the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid can damage the brain. If�you or your child find your�symptoms return, you should contact your care team immediately.�
Long-term complications of congenital hydrocephalus
Many babies with congenital hydrocephalus experience permanent damage to their brain. This can cause a number of long-term complications such as:
autism, a condition that causes problems with communication and social interaction,
- learning difficulties,
- impaired speech,
- memory problems,
- short attention span,
- problems with vision, such as a squint (strabismus),
- problems with physical co-ordination.