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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.