My daughter is 37 weeks pregnant and yesterday was told by her Dr that her ultra sound at 36 weeks showed moderate hydrocephalus. They have refered her for a 3D ultra sound to check for any other congenital disorders but that won't be done till sometime next week and meantime we are trying to figure out what all this means for the baby. After reading as much as we could find we still have a few questions.
1.Is it advisable to have a vaginal delivery when such a condition exists, does it create extra trauma and pressure on the babys brain?
2.Although a Dr. hasn't told us anything yet we are presuming a stent would be placed, how long after birth can or will they do that?
3.Should we start to look for and consult with a pedatric neurosurgon at this point or will we have time after she is born to do that?
Any other advice or information you think we should have would be more than appreciated!!
In my experience these cases were transferred to major medical centers under the care of a peri-natologist, that is a specialist who deals with infant problems diagnosed before delivery. They also were always delivered by C-section and placed under the care of the neonatologists for immediate eval by the pediatric neurosurgeons. I suspect your obstetrician is already looking at these options, depending on where you live. The baby should not be born out in a community hospital (in my opinion).
You would do well to go the the MedHelp Forum here on Pregnancy. I looked over there and the MD is prompt in answering the questions. I am a pediatrician and pretty much just know what the docs that I respected did.
The effects on the baby depend on whether the hydrocephalus has prevented proper development of the brain. Babies have very soft skulls which expand in response to pressure. I have had many such infants who developed normally and their problems were just those associated with the shunt which is place to drain the excess fluid. I'm sure they will be doing further ultrasounds to try to get a good image of the baby's brain. But, you have to know there is a chance the baby may have some damage.
I would look for a good pediatrician who is experienced with such problems. I am predjudiced about Pediatrics vs. Family Practice when it comes to kids with problems. The typical Family Practice doc has 6 to 12 months of pediatric training. A basic pediatrician has a minimum of 33 months of training. Again, just my opinion.
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