Do I Need Surgery for My Head Injury?
Sometimes, surgery is required to treat head injuries. Contrary to popular belief, this treatment option is not just reserved for head injuries involving high levels of trauma. Even a slight knock to the head could cause a brain bleed, and the only way to address this issue might be surgical intervention. How do you know whether you need brain surgery? How serious is this procedure? What are the risks involved? What could go wrong? What are the long-term consequences?
All of these questions might be rushing through your mind if surgery is necessary for your specific situation. Going through such a major procedure is never easy, but it is important to remember that modern medicine is incredibly advanced, especially in a wealthy nation like the United States. The most important thing is to listen to medical professionals and follow their advice. They know what is best for your situation, and no amount of internet research can replace targeted medical guidance based on science.
How Do I Figure Out Whether I Need Surgery?
The only way to figure out whether you need surgery for your head injury is to visit a hospital, a doctor’s clinic, or some other facility where testing can be carried out. Everyone should get their head injuries properly assessed by doctors, whether you have suffered a light knock to the head or a penetrating skull fracture in a car accident. Depending on your circumstances, doctors may recommend a CT scan.
A CT scan is the easiest way to tell whether you need brain surgery. This type of medical image provides doctors with a 3D picture of your brain. They can detect serious issues that need immediate attention, such as brain bleeds and pressure on the brain. Even if these issues are detected, you might not need surgery. Doctors may conclude that your issues can be treated with medication or other options.
In order to determine whether you need a CT scan in the first place, you can now take certain blood tests that determine the severity of your brain injury. These tests were developed in part by the University of California at San Francisco, and they were recently approved by the FDA. When used as a first step, a blood test can help you determine how serious your brain injury might be and whether you need a CT scan.
When Do I Need Brain Surgery?
You may need brain surgery to deal with the following issues:
- Hydrocephalus: This is when cerebrospinal fluid starts to accumulate within brain cavities. If this condition is left unaddressed, the ventricles in your brain can swell, causing serious damage.
- Fractures: You might also need surgery to address skull fractures. Surgery is a common treatment option after penetrating brain injuries. This is because when the brain loses its protective covering, it can easily become infected by inflowing air and bacteria.
- Intracerebral Hemorrhages: When an artery in the brain bursts, this is called a hemorrhage. The result is a brain bleed that can easily be life-threatening. If the situation is dire, fast surgery is absolutely critical not only to save the patient’s life but also to prevent further brain damage.
- Hematomas: When blood starts to pool outside the blood vessels of the brain, this is called a hematoma. Surgery can help reduce blood pooling in dangerous areas, such as between the skull and brain, the brain tissue and outer layer, and inside the brain.
What Types of Brain Surgery Can I Get?
There are many different types of brain surgery that may be required:
- Craniotomy: In this type of surgery, doctors remove a section of the skull and drain out the hematoma. Sometimes, pressure can be relieved by removing a section of the skull and allowing the brain more space to swell. This can reduce serious brain damage. If the hematoma is small enough, however, a much less invasive technique can be used to drain away the fluid. Sometimes, all doctors need to do is drill a small hole in your skull to remove the fluid.
- Endoscopic Ventriculostomy: In this procedure, doctors put a small video camera into your skull. This allows them to see inside the brain and determine where to place a hole in your ventricles. With the holes placed in the right locations, hydrocephalus can be treated quickly and easily.
- VPS: Otherwise known as a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, a VPS allows doctors to insert a drainage system into your brain. This can eliminate hydrocephalus. One end of the shunt is placed in the abdomen, allowing the cerebrospinal fluid to drain into the abdominal cavity before it is absorbed.
- Decompressive Craniectomy: Often used as a last resort, a decompressive craniectomy has a relatively high chance of failure. However, it can help treat some of the most dangerous brain injuries that require emergency attention right away.
- Cranioplasty: Unlike emergency procedures, cranioplasties occur after the individual has recovered from their head injuries. This involves reconstructing the damaged skull, often with metal or plastic plates.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Head Injury Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a head injury attorney in California, Mary Alexander & Associates is here to help. With our guidance, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties that caused your brain injury. While we cannot tell you whether you need surgery for your brain injury, we can help you pursue compensation that covers your medical expenses. This compensation helps you keep your options open, whether you choose to move ahead with surgery or some other treatment option.
Remember, these treatment options are often incredibly expensive, and it may be impossible to pay for your treatment out of your own pocket. This is especially true if your injury is preventing you from working and earning a living. A personal injury lawsuit may be the only way to pay for your treatment. In addition, a settlement can cover lost wages, emotional distress, and a range of other potential damages. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.