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An Ommaya Reservoir is a small plastic device used to carry medicine to fluids in the brain and spinal cord. It also allows samples of cerebrospinal fluid (fluid around the brain and spinal cord) to be taken for testing.
Before the surgery to place the reservoir, some of your hair will be shaved. The Ommaya Reservoir is shaped like a dome with a small tube (catheter) attached. An operation is performed to place it under the scalp on the top of the head. The catheter goes through a small round opening made in your skull and then into a hollow part of the brain where cerebrospinal fluid is located.
After the reservoir is in place, you will be watched for several hours in the hospital. After this, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you may go back to your normal activity. You will return to the doctor’s office or clinic for your chemotherapy treatment as scheduled. At this time, medicine will be given or samples of spinal fluid will be taken. To get spinal fluid, a very small needle is put through the scalp into the Ommaya Reservoir.