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Your child has, or will soon bit fitted with an Ommaya reservoir. The Ommaya enables us to administer medicines close to the tumor and collect cerebrospinal fluid. The reservoir is inserted under anesthesia.

What is an Ommaya reservoir?

An Ommaya reservoir is a small container with a line attached to it. The container is placed under the scalp. Starting from the container, the line enters the ventricles where the cerebrospinal fluid is produced. The doctor or clinical nurse specialist can administer medicines and draw cerebrospinal fluid via the container.


The pediatric neurosurgeon inserts the Ommaya. This surgery is performed under anesthesia in the surgery department of the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital. After surgery, your child is left with a few stitches that will dissolve on their own. You can see a small, round bump where the Ommaya is positioned. Your child may go home after a few days.

Possible problems after surgery

If you notice pus coming out of the wound, if your child has a 38.5+ degrees fever or a 38+ degrees fever twice in a row, or if your child is groggy, contact your department's clinical nurse specialist immediately.

How is the Ommaya connected up?

Your child sits on a treatment table and you are possibly seated behind your child. The doctor or clinical nurse specialist disinfects the skin twice and feels where the reservoir is positioned. The reservoir is punctured with a thin needle. First, some cerebrospinal fluid is drawn up into a small syringe and, if necessary, the brain pressure is measured. Then, chemotherapy or some other vital drug is slowly injected. Your child does not notice much of this procedure. Should your child get a bit dizzy, it helps to lie down flat for a while. After the procedure, your child may participate in whatever activity they want.

Dealing with an Ommaya reservoir

Once your child's hair has grown back, the bump is no longer visible. Your child may participate in any activity despite having an implanted Ommaya.
When the treatment is finished, the Ommaya is not removed, like a portacath or line; it will always remain in place.

Phone numbers
  • During office hours:
    1. Neuro-oncology nurse specialist 088 9729204
    2. Solid oncology nurse specialist 088-9729203
    3. Hematology-oncology nurse specialist 088-9729311
  • After 5:00 p.m., call 088-9727272 and ask for the care coordinator who can put you through to the duty doctor.

If you have serious concerns, call the emergency line: 088-9729257.