Burr Holes for Haematoma

What is a Burr Holes for Haematoma?

A burr hole for haematoma is performed to remove a blood clot from around the surface of the brain. The location of the blood clot is usually beneath the firm covering of the brain.

A small cut is made in the skin over the site of the blood clot. A small hole is drilled into the skull beneath the cut and the firm covering of the brain is opened. The fluid within the blood clot is allowed to drain. Any blood clot debris is washed away from the brain to ensure it is all removed.

A small plastic tube (drain) may be inserted to allow any residual fluid to be drained away. This is usually removed within 24 – 48 hours. The cut is then closed, usually 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, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin)

    A small chance of the clot recollecting. This may require further surgery.

  • 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.
  • As a result of the initial blood clot injury there may be no improvement in the patient’s condition.
  • As a result of the initial blood clot injury a continued decline in the patient’s condition may occur despite surgery.

Rare risks include:

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

Burr Holes for Haematoma