Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Some subdural hematomas don't need to be removed because they're small and produce no signs or symptoms. Diuretic medications may help control brain swelling (edema) after a head injury.

Surgery

Hematoma treatment often requires surgery. The type of surgery depends on the characteristics of your hematoma. Options include:

  • Surgical drainage. If the blood is localized and isn't clotting excessively, your doctor may create a burr hole through your skull and use suction to remove the liquid.
  • Craniotomy. Large hematomas may require that a section of your skull be opened (craniotomy) to remove the blood.

Recovery

After surgery, your doctor may prescribe anticonvulsant drugs to control or prevent post-traumatic seizures. These medications are continued up to a year after the trauma. Long-term anticonvulsant therapy may be needed if seizures continue. Amnesia, attention difficulties, anxiety, sleep problems and headaches may occur and continue for some time.

Recovery after an intracranial hematoma can be prolonged and may be incomplete. In adults, most recovery takes place within the first six months after the injury. Children usually recover faster and more completely than adults do.

Jun. 25, 2011