Subdural Hematoma: An Overview

A subdural hematoma is a blood clot that forms near the brain under the dura, which is the protective covering of the brain. Hematomas generally have to be removed as they can compress brain tissue and cause life-threatening complications. Keep reading to learn more about signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of subdural hematomas.

Causes

A hematoma may be the result of a traumatic head injury, such as a car accident. However, old age, use of anticoagulant medications such as Coumadin®, and alcoholism are all known to play a role in the onset of a subdural hematoma.

Symptoms

Patients with a subdural hematoma may experience a wide range of symptoms, most commonly headaches, dizziness, weakness, seizures, nausea, and extreme behavioral changes. However, it is possible that symptoms may be absent in early states of a subdural hematoma, only surfacing as it begins to grown larger.

Diagnosis

If a subdural hematoma is suspected, head imaging procedures such as a CT scan or MRI scan will likely be performed. These procedures create images of the skull’s interior, allowing for the detection of a subdural hematoma. In some cases, angiography may be used, utilizing dye to highlight blood flow through arteries and veins.

Treatment

Surgery is generally required to remove a subdural hematoma, with the most common methods being burr hole drainage and craniotomy. Burr hole drainage uses a special surgical drill to create small perforations in the skull through the dura. Irrigation is used to rinse the area out, and a drain is inserted into the hole to ensure that the blood clot and any excess fluid is removed. A craniotomy is a very complex, critical procedure that has many risks associated with it. This method is only employed in the most serious, complex cases, as it involves opening the skull and removing the hematoma.

Subdural Hematoma Treatment in Hamilton

If you would like more information on subdural hematomas and their treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lipani. Our offices are located in Hamilton,  and Bridgewater NJ, serving the greater Princeton area. We can be reached at 609-890-3400. We look forward to serving you!

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Posted in: Cranial Procedures

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