Types of Hematoma and Treatments – Facty Health

A hematoma collects blood outside the arteries and causes pain, discoloration, and swelling. They look like bruises, but are much more serious – they are larger and deeper, and they swell due to fluid buildup in the area.

Where a hematoma develops in the body determines how important it is and whether immediate treatment is necessary.


Most common cause from hematoma is trauma from events such as motor vehicle accidents and falls. Other factors, such as liver disease, blood thinners, and other medications can increase the risk of bleeding and make hematomas more likely and severe when the trauma occurs.

hematomas can to be spontaneouslyalthough this is rare and indicative of more serious underlying medical problems.

Young woman fell from mountain bike. luckyraccoon / Getty Images

Subdermal Hematoma

A subdermal hematoma appears when: blood pools below the skin, but the skin remains intact. They can develop anywhere on the body that is injured.

These hematomas appear immediately after an injury or a few days later, and they are easy to spot. In addition to a noticeable purple-red discolored area under the skin, other symptoms include swelling, tenderness, and pain.

Woman with bruised arm Satjawat Boontanataweepol / Getty Images

Intramuscular Hematoma

injury to skeleton- muscles can also lead to hematomas. Doctors classify muscle injuries as mild, moderate, and severe. Moderate or grade II injuries develop palpable hematomas within two to three days.

The worst type, grade III injuries, includes severe pain, muscle rupture, and extensive hematoma. In these cases, surgery may be necessary if the injury is severe enough. The surgeon will drain the hematoma and make other surgical corrections to the muscle and surrounding tendons and ligaments.

bruise on someone's knee Pinkybird/Getty Images

Intracranial Hematoma

intracranial hematomas types of head injuries. The type depends on where the blood accumulates. Epidural hematomas form between the skull and the outer layer of the meninges, the protective tissue that lines the brain. Subdural hematomas form in the layers of this protective tissue, and intracerebral hematomas form in the brain tissue itself.

Intracranial hematomas can be life-threatening because they put pressure on the brain, which can cause significant neurological damage.

doctor putting bandage on a man's head Katarzyna Bialasiewicz / Getty Images

Septal hematomas

septum hematomas are usually the result of nasal trauma, be it a sports injury, a fall, a sexual assault, or a car accident, and can happen even if the injury is not very serious. Blood collects in the part of the nose between the nostrils.

When this type of hematoma develops in infants and toddlers with no other injuries, doctors often suspect abuse. They are also common after nose surgeries.

Doctor's hands in blue plastic gloves are used Rena therm bandage Hartman on the patient's nose Makalish / Getty Images

Subungual Hematomas

Bleeding under the nail bed leads to: subungual hematomas, which cause pain and discoloration. This damage is usually the result of an entrapment injury or a blow to the finger, such as getting caught in a door.

In many cases, subungual hematomas resolve on their own. Sometimes the blood that collects under the nail causes severe pain and requires trefin: the doctor makes a small hole in the nail to relieve pressure.

Subungual hematoma on index finger Caroline Anderson/Getty Images

Abdominal Hematomas

belly hematomas occur when there is bleeding in the abdominal muscles. They are most often seen in the rectus muscle layer that extends from the top of the pubic bone to the sternum.

In severe cases, this type of hematoma can spread to the sides of the rectus muscle or into the abdomen. Abdominal hematomas usually result from trauma, but abdominal surgery or muscle strain can also cause them.

woman with stomach with bruise Bureau of Fine Arts / Getty Images


The diagnosis depends on the location of the hematoma. For subdermal or intramuscular hematomas, the physician may x-ray to account for bone fractures or run labs to test for vitamin deficiencies or clotting disorders.

Ultrasound is the test of choice in front of belly hematomas , although a CT may be needed for additional evaluation. For intracranial hematomas, diagnosis typically includes CT scans, MRIs, and angiograms to visualize blood flow in the brain and determine the extent of damage.

High angle view of patient lying in front of MRI scan Portrait/Getty Images


Therapy depends on the location and severity of the hematoma. Small hematomas that cause no other symptoms do not require treatment in many cases. Abdominal hematomas may require: embolization or surgical procedure nasty stop any active bleeding† However, if the bleeding stops on its own, treatment usually focuses on managing symptoms and checking for recurrence rather than draining the hematoma.

Doctors closely monitor intracranial hematomas. If they are small and do not cause neurological symptoms, doctors usually do not remove them. It can take days for symptoms to appear and they can get worse quickly. If it’s severe enough, people with intracranial hematomas may need surgical drainage or brain surgery.

Low angle shot in operating room of two surgeons bending over patient with instruments during surgery procedure gorodenkoff / Getty Images

Prevention and prognosis

To reduce the risk of getting a hematoma a accident or injurykeep living areas free of tripping hazards and wear protective clothing, such as a helmet and pads, when cycling or motorcycling, or playing contact sports.

Most rectus hematomas in the abdomen are non-life threatening, self-limiting, and successfully treated with minimal interventions. For subdural hematomas in the brain, prognosis depends on the severity of injury, the person’s age, and how quickly they sought help. About half of people with large subdural hematomas survive, but they are at high risk of permanent brain damage.

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