The indications for surgery in hypertensive intracerebral hematoma are still controversial. The reason for this may be: 1) lack of adequate and comparable data in conservative and surgical therapy from the same institution; 2) lack of adequate close follow-up monitoring over an extended period of time; or 3) lack of proper classification of hematomas for comparison of results from different institutions. The authors have treated 459 cases of hypertensive intracerebral hematoma between October, 1975, and July, 1983. The hematomas have been classified according to their mode of extension on computerized tomography. The long-term outcome was assessed on the basis of activity of daily living. Putaminal hematomas were classified as mild, moderate, severe, and very severe. In general, there was no significant difference in outcome between the surgical and nonsurgical cases; however, the outcome in the moderate and severe hematomas was found to be a little better for the surgical cases in some restricted areas. Thalamic and pontine hemorrhages were classified as mild, moderate, or severe. If the hematoma is localized to the thalamus or pons, and if it extends to the midbrain, there is no indication for surgery; however, in patients with moderate hematomas, the prognosis showed a variable outcome, and the indications for surgery were questionable. In cerebellar hematomas, the authors propose that even a hematoma with a diameter greater than 3 cm might show a good outcome with nonsurgical therapy.