Benign Intracranial Hypertension

This is a condition where the pressure in the brain is increased and is not due to a tumour or due to obstructed fluid drainage also referred to as hydrocephalus.

The cause is not always evident. It is more common in females, obese patients and women on oral contraceptives.

Symptoms primarily is headaches, impaired vision or double vision.

The diagnosis is confirmed by obtaining a CT or MRI scan to rule out a tumour and then by doing a lumbar puncture to indirectly check if the pressure is increased. In some circumstances an intracranial pressure monitor can be placed to check the brain pressure directly.

Treatment can be medical with diuretics.

Surgery in the form of a lumbar pertoneal shunt ( LP shunt ) drains fluid from the spinal cord in the abdominal cavity and thereby reduce the pressure in the brain.

Prognosis varies but up to a third of patients are never cured and have recurrent symptoms.


Dr MJD Jacobsohn qualified in 2007 at the University of Cape Town. He then completed an AO spinal fellowship at the Spinal Unit of Groote Schuur Hospital. He started full time private practice at Mediclinic Vergelegen in 2009 when he joined the established practice of Dr LS Wessels as his associate. A comprehensive range of cranial and spinal neurosurgical pathology are managed by Dr Jacobsohn.


physical address Block 2, Room 9, Mediclinic Vergelegen, Main Road, Somerset West, 7130

telephone number Tel: +27 (0)21 840 7002