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What is a Common Hematoma Treatment?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Hematoma treatment varies, depending on the location of the hematoma. In some cases, surgical treatment is the most common approach to managing the injury, while in others, simple rest may be recommended. When a hematoma is diagnosed and evaluated, the doctor can discuss the treatment options available and talk with the patient about the risks and benefits of each.

Hematomas are accumulations of blood that collect outside the blood vessels. They can occur as a result of trauma and may also be the result of weakened and friable blood vessels that rupture, allowing blood to leak out. Swelling and darkening typically occurs at the site and the patient may also experience pain, tenderness, and a feeling of tightness or discomfort. Some common sites for these types of injuries include the brain, nasal septum, ears, and skin.

In the case of hematomas involving soft tissue and the skin, hematoma treatment usually involves compressing the site to prevent further accumulation of blood, icing or heating it to address inflammation, elevating the injury to prevent blood from pooling, and resting. The rest, compression, ice, and elevation (RICE) treatment is usually enough to clear the injury in around five days, although patients may also be given anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesia.

Hematomas in other locations may require surgical treatment. During surgery, the blood is drained and the wound is packed to prevent the blood from filling it again. In some cases, steps may be taken during surgery to prevent another hematoma. For example, in an ear hematoma, the surgeon will use what is known as a mattress stitch to keep the tissues in the ear together so they cannot separate and fill with blood after the surgery.

Injuries located in and around the brain are a cause for special concern. Any type of brain hematoma treatment will include surgery to drain the blood to avoid putting pressure on the brain. During the surgery, the surgeon will evaluate to determine the cause and take any preventative measures that may be necessary. It is critical to receive hematoma treatment in these cases because failure to treat can result in brain damage caused by the pressure of the pocket of blood.

Trauma leading to a hematoma can be relatively mild, and in some cases may be something as simple as shaking the head vigorously when there are delicate blood vessels inside. Any swellings and masses should be evaluated when they are noticed in order to get the most appropriate treatment before complications develop.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On Jan 15, 2012

My dog has a cauliflower ear. The outer portion of his left ear looks like it's swollen. The vet said it's a hematoma that must have developed after a blow to his ear. He said that he needs to do surgery to remove it.

I talked to my friend about this who also has a dog with the same condition. Except that he never got it treated. He said that it's fine but the dog's ear looks kind of funny now because the fluid is absorbed and the skin is all scrunched up. I guess that's where the name "cauliflower ear" comes from.

I really don't know if I should approve the surgery or just let it be. I know the vet is going to place a drain and it will need some time to heal. I just don't know if this ear hematoma treatment is worth it. I don't want to cause my dog any pain and discomfort if I don't have to.

By bear78 — On Jan 15, 2012

@turquoise-- You're absolutely right. A hematoma is not something that should be taken lightly.

I also had a hematoma in my chest but mine was due to a car accident where I got a blow to my chest. First I felt a burning sensation in that area and slowly it became painful and got worse and worse over the next couple of hours.

My husband drove me to the ER where they confirmed that it was a hematoma. They tried to break it up and drain it out with a syringe first but unfortunately it didn't work. They said that the blood had thickened to the point where it couldn't be removed with a syringe. It was also a large hematoma that required treatment or it could become larger.

I also had to get surgery and went through the same thing as you. I was told later that I made a smart move by going to ER because the hematoma was actually really close to my heart and it could have caused some serious complications had it gotten any bigger than it was.

By turquoise — On Jan 14, 2012

I developed a hematoma in one of my breasts, near the muscle, soon after my breast augmentation surgery. I was told by my doctor that it would go away on its own and to apply some heat to it if I felt very uncomfortable. The heat made it feel a little bit better but by no means got rid of it. I had the hematoma for about four weeks until my doctor finally decided that I need another surgery to see what's going on.

There was apparently a lot of blood and fluid build up and it couldn't have gone away on it's own. They drained all the fluid and stitched me back up. I healed pretty quickly after this intramuscular hematoma treatment and it didn't repeat.

Hematoma doesn't sound like a very serious or scary condition but it is when it requires surgery. I was so scared that something was going to go wrong. Thankfully, everything has worked out great but I learned that hematomas definitely require treatment and soon.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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