Brain Herniation

Brain Herniation

Brain herniation is a condition when brain tissue and fluid shift from their position so that they crowd out the surrounding area. Brain herniation can be triggered by a head injury, stroke, or brain tumor.

Displacement of tissue in brain herniation can occur in the cerebrum (large brain) or cerebellum (small brain). This condition is classified as dangerous because it can interfere with blood flow to the brain. If treated too late, sufferers can experience permanent brain damage, even death.

Causes of Brain Herniation

Brain herniation occurs due to increased intracranial pressure. This condition can cause brain tissue to shift from its normal position.

The following are some of the factors that can cause increased intracranial pressure:

  • Swelling of the brain, which is commonly caused by infection with measles , mumps, polio, or rabies
  • Head injury causing bleeding, concussion, skull fracture, or hematoma
  • Stroke , both ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke
  • Brain tumors, both originating from the brain itself and tumors from other organs that spread to the brain
  • An abscess or collection of pus in the brain due to a bacterial or fungal infection
  • An abnormality in the structure of the brain called Chiari malformation
  • Diseases of the blood vessels, such as a brain neurism
  • Hydrocephalus or fluid buildup in the brain
  • Complications arising from brain surgery procedures
  • Side effects of radiotherapy or radiation therapy

Symptoms of Brain Herniation

Symptoms that can arise due to brain herniation can vary, including:

  • Dizzy
  • Headache
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irregular pulse
  • High blood pressure
  • The body feels tired
  • Faint
  • Loss of body reflexes
  • The pupils are dilated
  • Seizure
  • cardiac arrest
  • Stop breathing

When to go to the doctor

Call an ambulance immediately on 119 if you find someone with symptoms of a brain herniation. If possible, take the patient to the emergency room to get help immediately.

Diagnosis of Brain Herniation

To diagnose brain herniation, the doctor will perform an examination with X-rays of the patient's head and neck. The doctor can also run a CT scan or MRI examination. The goal is to get a clearer view of the inside of the patient's head and to identify the type of brain herniation the patient has.

If the doctor suspects that there is a bleeding disorder or a collection of pus in the brain, the doctor will also do a blood test on the patient.

Brain Herniation Treatment

Treatment of brain herniation will focus on several goals, namely:

  • Stabilize the patient's vital signs
  • Reducing swelling and pressure in the brain
  • Treat the cause of the brain herniation whenever possible

The main action that can be done is to reduce swelling and pressure in the brain, namely through the following procedures:

  • Endoscopic ventriculostomy, to remove cerebrospinal fluid through a hole at the base of the brain. The hole is made with the help of an endoscope procedure .
  • Craniectomy, to reduce pressure in the brain. The trick is to elevate the part of the skull near the area that is experiencing swelling

In addition to the above procedures, there are other methods that can be used to treat brain herniation, namely:

  • Surgical procedures to remove tumors, blood clots, or abscesses
  • Administration of sedatives, anticonvulsants, or antibiotics
  • Administration of corticosteroids to reduce swelling
  • Installation of a respirator tube
  • Administration of drugs, such as mannitol or hypertonic fluids, to reduce fluid in the brain tissue

Complications of Brain Herniation

Brain herniation that is not treated immediately can be dangerous and cause serious complications, such as:

  • Cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest
  • Brain tissue death
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Coma
  • Dead

Prevention of Brain Herniation

Brain herniation is difficult to prevent, because the cause is often unknown or unintentional. However, there are preventable causes of brain herniation, such as infection, head injury, or stroke. Ways of prevention include:

  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle, namely by eating healthy and nutritious, getting enough rest, exercising regularly, and managing stress well
  • Quit smoking
  • Undergoing medication to prevent stroke, if you have hypertension or diabetes
  • Always maintain personal and environmental hygiene to prevent infection
  • Be careful when doing activities inside or outside the house
  • Drive safely, namely by wearing a helmet when riding a motorbike, using a seat belt when driving a car, and obeying traffic rules
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages while driving
  • Undergo a doctor's examination if you have ever had a severe head injury, or if you suffer from diseases, such as brain tumors and aneurysms
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