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What is a craniotomy for evacuation of intracranial haematoma?

A Craniotomy for evacuation of intracranial haematoma is performed to remove a blood clot from around the surface of the brain.

A cut is made in the skin over the site of the blood clot. A segment of skull bone is removed to allow the surgeon to view the brain. The firm outside lining of the brain will be opened.

The blood clot is identified and removed. The surface of the brain is rinsed to help remove the clot.

The skull is closed with plates and screws and the cut closed with stitches or staples.

My Anaesthetic

This procedure will require a General anaesthetic.

See About your Anaesthetic information sheet for information about the anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, talk these over with your doctor.

If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are some risks/complications with this procedure.

Common risks include:

  • Infection. This may need antibiotics and further treatment.
  • IV cannula. This may cause minor pain, bruising and/or infection at the injection site. This may require treatment with antibiotics.
  • Bleeding. If bleeding occurs further surgery may be required. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Aspirin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin)
  • Small areas of the lung may collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increase risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.

Uncommon risks include:

  • A heart attack because of the strain on the heart or a stroke.
  • Clots in the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) with pain and swelling. Rarely part of this clot may break off and go into the lungs.
  • Fluid leakage from the brain can occur after the operation. This may require further surgery.

Rare risks include:

  • Epilepsy which may require medication. This condition may be temporary or permanent.
  • Death is possible due to this procedure.

  • royal-australasian-college-of-surgeons
  • flinders-medical-centre
  • cmc-vellore
  • calvary-adelaide-hospital
  • Neurosurgical Research Foundation