Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cerebral Subdural Hematoma Treatment

Treatment for a subdural hematoma depends on the underlying cause for the bleeding as well as the presence of other conditions, such as an underlying blood clotting disorder that could complicate treatment.

The treatment of an acute subdural hematoma can be very different than the treatment of a chronic subdural hematoma. Findings on CT scanning of the brain, as well as the neurological examination of the patient, can help to distinguish these two conditions.

In general, the treatment of acute subdural hematoma includes medications that reduce brain swelling, and surgery to remove the blood from around the brain. A doctor may choose to observe a person who has a very small subdural hematoma. If the hematoma becomes larger, or the person has symptoms, then the doctor will perform surgery to remove the blood from around the brain.

Specific treatment for acute subdural hematoma may include:

Chronic subdural hematomas may require little more than observation to be certain they resolve with time. Some chronic subdural hematomas will require surgical drainage. This determination is most often based on evidence found on the CT scan of the brain.

For more information:

Cerebral Subdural Hematoma Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of subdural hematoma.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Will I need surgery?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having another subdural hematoma?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Cerebral Subdural Hematoma Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a subdural hematoma:

Continue to Cerebral Subdural Hematoma Warning Signs

Last Updated: Jun 13, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cerebral Subdural Hematoma References
  1. Bullock MR, Chesnut R, Ghajar J, Gordon D, Hartl R, Newell DW, Servadei F, Walters BC, Wilberger JE; Surgical Management of Traumatic Brain Injury Author Group. Surgical management of acute subdural hematomas. Neurosurgery. 2006 Mar;58(3 Suppl):S16-24; discussion Si-iv. [16710968]
  2. Jayawant S, Parr J. Outcome following subdural haemorrhages in infancy. Arch Dis Child. 2007 Apr;92(4):343-7. [17376941]
  3. Provenzale J. CT and MR imaging of acute cranial trauma. Emerg Radiol. 2007 Apr;14(1):1-12. Epub 2007 Feb 22. [17318483]
  4. Walker RA, Wadman MC. Headache in the elderly. Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 May;23(2):291-305, v-vi. [17462518]
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