Our Approach To

Burr hole subdural hematoma


A subdural hematoma, also known as a subdural haemorrhage, is a type of hematoma, usually associated with traumatic brain injury. Blood gathers between the dura mater and the brain. The bleeding and increased pressure on the brain from a subdural hematoma can be life-threatening. Some subdural hematomas stop and resolve spontaneously; others require surgical drainage.

Symptoms of subdural hematoma can include a headache, confusion, change in behaviour, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, lethargy or excessive drowsiness, weakness, apathy, seizures. People may vary widely in their symptoms of subdural hematoma. Besides the size of the subdural hematoma, a person’s age and other medical conditions can affect the response to having a subdural hematoma.

In small subdural hematomas with mild or no symptoms, doctors may observe for some time as they the hematoma may resolve itself. For more severe or dangerous subdural hematomas require surgery to reduce the pressure on the brain. Burr hole surgery is the main treatment for subdural haematomas that develop a few days or weeks after a head injury. During the procedure, one or more small holes are drilled in the skull and a flexible rubber tube is inserted to drain the hematoma. Sometimes the tube may be left in place for a few days afterwards to drain away any blood and reduce the chances of the hematoma coming back. Craniotomy and craniectomy are other surgical option to treat hematoma.