An intracranial hematoma is a collection of blood within the skull, most commonly caused by rupture of a blood vessel within the brain or from trauma, such as a car accident or fall. The blood collection can be within the brain tissue or underneath the skull pressing on the brain.
An intracranial hygroma is the collection of cerebrospinal fluid without blood.
Although some head injuries — such as one that causes only a brief lapse of consciousness (concussion) — can be minor, an intracranial hematoma is potentially life-threatening. It usually requires immediate treatment, often surgery, to remove the blood.
Intracranial hematoma (accumulation of blood within the skull) or hygroma (accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the skull) treatment often involves surgery. The type of surgery depends on the type of hematoma you have. Options include:
If the blood is localized and isn't clotting a lot, your neurosurgeon might create a burr hole through your skull and use suction to remove the liquid.
A craniotomy is the surgical removal of part of the bone, called a bone flap, from the skull to expose your brain. The bone flap is replaced during the same surgical procedure or at a later date. It may be done to access brain tumors, reduce brain swelling, or treat aneurysms, blood clots, arteriovenous malformations (AVM) or infection.