Post-Operative Complications of Surgery for Chronic Subdural Hematoma (SDH) and Prevention
A prospective study
Objective: The study aimed to determine the rate and type of complications during surgery for treatment of chronic subdural hematoma and assess ways for their prevention.
Material and Methods: A total of 50 patients of chronic SDH were selected from the Neurosurgery Department of Bahawal Victoria Hospital. Patients were treated surgically with a single burr hole evacuation under local anesthesia, introduced a subdural drain, nursed in a head-down position for 24 hours, and given plenty of fluids orally and intravenous route. The surgical technique involved a formation of a single burr hole at the point of maximum density.
Results: Out of 50, 43 patients recovered smoothly postoperatively and discharged on the 7th postoperative day. Two patients were re-operated due to inadequate evacuation or reaccumulation. One patient developed subdural empyema post-operatively and expired in spite of good antibiotic cover. In one patient subdural drain penetrated the brain parenchyma resulting in dysphasia. Another patient formed an intracerebral hematoma due to irrigation of the cavity with pressure. One patient with GCS 4/15 developed seizures postoperatively and expired after one hour. One patient developed gross subdural tension pneumocephalus after removing the subdural drain was re-operated and recovered.
Conclusion: Single burr hole evacuation of chronic SDH under local anesthesia is the most accepted surgical treatment. Using proper aseptic surgical techniques, the introduction of the minimum necessary length of the subdural catheter to avoid penetration into the brain parenchyma, followed by careful irrigation of the subdural cavity can help prevent complications.
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