Surgery for hydrocephalus (ventriculostomy)

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What is it for?

To help treat excess fluid in the brain

Treatment overview

Ventriculostomy introduces a drainage hole in the base of one of the ventricles of the brain so that excess fluid can drain through to the base of the brain, relieving pressure within the skull. Neurosurgeons at The London Clinic are able to perform a ventriculostomy using conventional brain surgery or using endoscopic techniques.

A ventriculostomy to relieve hydrocephalus can also be done with the addition of a stent, a small catheter that is used to keep the drainage hole open:

  • An external ventricular drain is a temporary catheter that is later removed.
  • A ventricular peritoneal shunt carries excess fluid into the peritoneum, the abdominal cavity.
  • A ventriculoatrial shunt takes the fluid directly into one of the upper chambers of the heart.
View body location
Upper Head location

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy

An endoscopic third ventriculostomy does not require the skull to be opened. It is a less invasive treatment for hydrocephalus in which a small hole is made behind the hairline above the forehead. The endoscope is passed through this hole in the skull, through the brain and is used to pierce a small hole in the membrane that lies just under the third ventricle in the brain. Fluid then drains into the subarachnoid space.

Endoscopic ventriculostomy is not suitable in all cases of hydrocephalus, however, and sometimes the effects of endoscopic ventriculostomy are not long-lasting making it necessary to insert a shunt.

Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.


Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis

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