What is hydrocephalus?

The brain and spinal cord are fed and protected by the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This liquid circulates continuously in the subarachnoid space.
The word hydrocephalus comes from the Greek hudôr (water) and kephalê (head). Hydrocephalus is a progressive distension of the ventricular cavities, provoked by an anomaly either in the production of CSF, or its circulation or resorption.
Hydrocephalus leads to severe headaches in adults and skull deformity in children.


In general, hydrocephalus causes the following symptoms :

  • Confusion (disorientation, difficulty to understand or answer simple questions),
  • Dementia,
  • Loss of balance when walking (ataxia),
  • Incontinence (sphincter disorders),
  • Visual impairment (diplopia or other disorders),
  • Headache (pain in different positions, seated, walking, etc.),
  • Great fatigue, preventing the patient from doing certain tasks (asthenia),
  • Difficulty in articulating (dysarthria) and other speech disorders  related to the alteration central motor control,
  • Learning difficulties,
  • Growth problems,
  • Dome-shaped skull,
  • Open fontanelle,
  • Epileptic seizures

A benign form of hydrocephalus exists in newborn babies, characterized by bulging fontanelles (membranous spaces between the bones of the skull in newborns). The bulging disappears spontaneously within a few hours. This form of hydrocephalus is usually attributed to an overdose of vitamins A and D.

Our therapeutic offer

The problem can be solved by re-establishing the circulation. The treatment for acute hydrocephalus is neurosurgical.
Ventricular endoscopy

This operation consists of making a small hole in the floor of the 3rd ventricle in order to bypass an obstacle which is preventing the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from flowing freely. This is currently the only means of controlling hydrocephalus without placing a derivation, but is not suitable for all those who have hydrocephalus.
The ROSA® system is suitable for planning the surgery, navigating and manipulating the endoscope with the robot arm. Safety zones may be defined for each trajectory, making the procedure safer and facilitating the surgical intervention.

Benefits and risks


  • Increased safety and precision,
  • Less invasive procedures,
  • A decrease in the risk of infection,
  • Simpler, shorter surgical outcomes,
  • Fewer complications.


  • Hemorrhaging (blood clot): when a hemorrhage occurs, this is usually within 48 hours after the operation,
  • A hematoma may develop on the probe or drain insertion trajectory. Depending on its nature and gravity, this hematoma may either be the subject of increased  surveillance or require surgical reintervention,
  • Obstruction, clogging: this delayed dysfunction is completely unforeseeable and may appear years after the operation.

Consult your physician for a complete list of benefits and risks, precautions, clinical results and other important medical information related to hydrocephalus.