Treatment options for adult onset hydrocephalus include surgery to divert cerebrospinal fluid to another cavity and surgery to remove the cause of the cerebrospinal fluid obstruction, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. A third alternative is an endoscopic third ventriculostomy in which the surgeon creates a new path for the cerebrospinal fluid.
To treat adult onset hydrocephalus indirectly by rerouting the cerebrospinal fluid, the surgeon implants a shunt into the patient to redirect excess cerebrospinal fluid out of the brain, confirms the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The surgeon normally reroutes the cerebrospinal fluid into the peritoneal cavity surrounding the abdominal organs. Although the surgeon may revise the shunt system later on, it normally remains in the body for the rest of the patient's life to keep intracranial pressure within acceptable limits.
The surgeon may also treat the condition directly by removing a tumor or other cerebrospinal fluid obstruction, sometimes after inserting the shunt system, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. If an endoscopic third ventriculostomy is recommended, the surgeon bores a small hole in the skull and inserts a neuroendoscope, a medical instrument with a small camera attached. The surgeon then enters the brain to make a hole several millimeters wide in the floor of the third ventricle to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid.