18-month-old stable after complex surgery

Gurgaon, June 19 (IANS) An 18-month-old girl suffering a rare disorder in which her head swelled to an unprecedented 94 cm is stable and progressing well after a complex surgery, doctors treating her said Wednesday.

According to doctors, Roona Begum has shown a remarkable improvement in her condition. She had been admitted to Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) here in April.

“For the first three weeks after she was admitted, we tried to bring down the size of her head to manageable levels. We provided an alternate pathway to drain the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF),” said Sandeep Vaishya, a doctor treating Begum.

Apart from draining the CSF in the brain, re-modelling procedures to correct her misshapen skull bones was also done.

“We have put pressure bandages to mould her head. She may need further reshaping procedures over a six-year period,” the doctor added.

Hydrocephalus is the abnormal build-up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the cavities surrounding the brain, causing an increase in intracranial pressure within the skull and resulting in the dysmorphic expansion of the head.

The condition results from complications related to head injuries or infections. In infants with hydrocephalus, CSF buildup in the central nervous system causes the fontanelle (soft spot) to bulge and the head to enlarge.

“Given the complexities of the case, the prognosis is much better than expected and baby Roona is responding well to the treatment protocol. She is reacting to stimuli and showing signs of cognition,” he added.

Apart from swelling of head, other symptoms of Hydrocephalus include seizures, vomiting, headaches and irritability. Prolonged sustained pressure can result in brain damage and blindness.

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