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Brain Haemorrhage Surgery - Medical Negligence Solicitors

A brain haemorrhage involves any kind of bleeding in the brain or around the brain. There can be bleeding in the subarachnoid space, called a subarachnoid haemorrhage; there can be bleeding beneath the dura, called a subdural haematoma; there can be bleeding within the brain itself, in what’s called an intraparenchymal bleed.

In some cases the bleed resolves itself, is small and the body resorbs the blood, resolving the bleed without having to undergo surgery. In other cases, the haematoma does not resolve or the bleeding is active, creating a medical and surgical emergency in which the individual must undergo surgical treatment to stop the bleeding and release the pressure on the brain.

A simple form of brain surgery for peripheral bleeds is the burr hole. This involves using a device that creates a hole in the skull overlying the bleed. A CT scan can be done prior to the burr hole application in some cases to exactly mark where the bleed is located. The burr hole allows for a release of pressure within the skull and the blood is allowed to drain out of the hole. This doesn’t work with large bleeds and with large haematomas because the burr hole is too small to extract the haematoma from it.

Another type of brain surgery for bleeding is done in the case of a brain aneurism. The brain is exposed and the aneurism is located. A metal clip is placed on the neck of the aneurism so that the aneurism doesn’t get any blood supply. Another procedure, called an intravascular coiling procedure is far less invasive and involves passing a catheter up through the groin and into the aneurism in the brain. A wire made of platinum is placed into the aneurism and coils up, causing the aneurysm to clot. This stops the bleeding from the aneurism.

Prior to major surgery, a CT scan or MRI scan of the brain is done so that the surgeon can know exactly what part of the brain to work on. Results of the CT or MRI are kept in the operating suite so doctors can periodically refer to them.

In a craniotomy, major surgery to the brain or to a big clot is expected. The hair is shaved over the site of the surgery and the scalp is treated with antiseptics. An incision is made and the scalp is pulled up. A hole is made in the skull and a piece of the skull is removed from the rest of the head. Through the missing area of skull, an aneurism can be clipped or a large haematoma can be evacuated. Areas of active bleeding can be clipped off.

Sometimes the surgeon uses an endoscope to get to deeper areas of the brain. Tools and a camera are placed at the end of the endoscope so the surgeon can do his or her work without having to directly visualize or expose deeper areas of brain. Microscopes are used to enlarge exposed areas of the brain so that the tiniest of blood vessels can be seen. A monitor is used to check the pressure of the intracranial space.

When the work is finished, the bone flap may or may not be secured into place using sutures, wires or small metal plates. If the brain was swollen or there is an infection, the bone flap is not removed and the procedure is known as a craniectomy. It takes several weeks for the bone to heal if it is attached back to the rest of the skull.

Complications of brain surgery include damage to the healthy areas of the brain as a result of trying to go deeper into the brain, excessive bleeding, swelling of the brain, which can result in brain herniation and death. The prognosis depends on what the bleeding problem is and on your overall health at the time of the surgery.

Inadequate surgical treatment may be an issue of medical negligence whereby brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors can issue proceedings to claim damages for personal injury and loss.

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors deal with legal action for medical negligence using the no win no fee scheme. If you would like free legal advice with no further obligation just call the helpline, email our offices or use the contact form.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here