Q. My mother has NPH. Should she go for CSF drainage or shunt surgery?

Answered by
Dr. Chandan Mohanty
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 12, 2017

Hello doctor,

My 76 year old mother was recently diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus. She is having trouble walking. She can walk only three to four steps at a time. She has been having this difficulty since a month now. She is currently not on any medication for this or for any other issues. We consulted two different neurosurgeons. One of them suggested going for the shunting procedure directly, while the other has asked us to go for LP CSF drainage and look for clinical improvement. I am confused. Which one should she go for? How complicated is the shunting procedure? How suitable is it, considering her age? I have attached the MRI reports for your consideration.



Welcome to

I am sorry to hear about your mother. I have seen her MRI reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

  • Going for lumbar puncture (LP) drainage, and then checking for a clinical improvement, before a shunt, has a better chance of determining the overall success of the shunt surgery. So, this is the preferred approach.
  • The shunt surgery is usually straightforward, but how well she responds to it, depends on her general medical condition and overall health. Please discuss this in detail with your neurosurgeon.

Wishing her a speedy recovery. Best wishes.

For more information consult a neuro surgeon online -->

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