Emergency bedside evacuation of a subset of large postoperative epidural hematomas after neurosurgical procedures

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Abstract

Postoperative epidural hematoma (POEDH) is a known complication after neurosurgical procedures. Large POEDHs are life-threatening and require emergency evacuation, and open surgery is the mainstay of treatment. Most of POEDHs are hyperdense on computed tomography (CT). We herein report a subset of POEDHs requiring evacuation, which presented with isodense features on CT. The presenting symptoms of patients were severe headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting as well as unilateral limb weakness (n = 1) and consciousness disorder (n = 4). The Glasgow coma score of the patients was 8.4 ± 3.5. All patients underwent emergency bedside burr hole evacuation through a tube, rather than open surgery. The meantime for the bedside procedures is 6.0 ± 1.5 minutes. All 5 POEDHs were proven liquid and evacuated successfully. All patients recovered quickly with good outcomes. We concluded that the isodensity of the POEDHs on CT represent their liquid nature. Bedside burr hole evacuation through a tube may be a recommendable method for this subset of POEDHs requiring evacuation. Thus, an open surgery and general anesthesia may be avoided.

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