Timing of postoperative intracranial hematoma development and implications for the best use of neurosurgical intensive care

J Neurosurg. 1995 Jan;82(1):48-50. doi: 10.3171/jns.1995.82.1.0048.


This study records the incidence and timing of postoperative hematomas in neurosurgical patients and analyzes the best use of neurosurgical intensive care. In 2305 patients undergoing freehand or stereotactic biopsy, elective or emergency craniotomy, or posterior fossa surgery, 50 (2.2%) developed a hematoma. Clinical deterioration as a result of postoperative hematoma occurred within 6 hours of surgery in 44 patients and more than 24 hours after surgery in six patients. Although patients undergoing posterior fossa surgery or emergency craniotomy warrant longer periods of intensive-care observation, patients having elective supratentorial operations can safely be transferred to a neurosurgical ward for observation, provided they have regained their preoperative neurological status by 6 hours postsurgery.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Craniotomy
  • Hematoma / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Skull / surgery