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Does a traumatic brain injury require surgery?

Any injury to the brain has the potential to cause serious bodily harm, with the most severe cases resulting in death. In many cases, the treatment you receive immediately following the injury determines how well you recover.

It's a common misconception that surgery is always required after suffering a traumatic brain injury. While it's necessary in many cases, this doesn't always hold true.

Here are four times when surgery can help minimize damage to the brain:

  • To repair a skull fracture: A severe skull fracture, such as one in which a piece of the skull is in the brain, often requires surgery for removal. A surgical procedure can also help repair the fracture.
  • Removing a blood clot: Bleeding within or outside the brain can cause a blood clot, which puts unnecessary pressure on the brain. This can quickly result in damage to the brain tissue.
  • Bleeding in the brain: Even if you're experiencing no major symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, you could still be suffering from bleeding in the brain. If this isn't treated immediately, with surgery the best option, it can result in serious brain damage or death.
  • Opening a window in the skull: A serious procedure, opening a window in the skull, may be necessary to relieve pressure that's accumulated as the result of a collection of cerebral spinal fluid. This type of surgery is also used if the brain needs more room to accommodate swollen tissues.

Upon presenting at the hospital with symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, your medical team will run various tests to determine the extent. When combined with a thorough physical examination, they can make a quick decision on whether surgery is required.

There are risks associated with every type of surgery, but when it comes to your brain the greater risk is often avoiding a recommended procedure altogether.

Once you receive treatment and are on the path to making a recovery, review the details of the accident that caused your traumatic brain injury. The information you collect, such as the police report, will help you protect your legal rights and receive compensation from the negligent party.

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