History of trepanation in chronic subdural hematoma

Solapas principales

Ballestas E. 1, Padilla H .1,3, Moscote L.2, 3



Trepanation is an ancient practice that consists of drilling a hole in the skull with exposure of the intracranial content without injuring vessels, meninges or the brain itself; for medical or magical purposes. Even from the mesolithic period there was a special attribution to the internal structures of the head, so the procedures carried out in it would ensure general well-being, which was satisfactory to allow it to be repeated in many people throughout history. The concept of chronic subdural hematoma has greatly evolved and affected illustrious characters in history and art. What in prehistory was thought to be a draining spirit to exit, ended up becoming an inflammation of the meninges until it was recognized as a collection of coagulated blood independent of the cerebrospinal fluid underneath the pia mater that was re-bleeding. The trepanation found in the subdural hematoma its most famous and scientifically useful use, being still superior to the craniotomy in results.

Keywords: Trepanation, Chronic subdural hematoma, Surgery.


  1. Estudiante de Medicina. Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas (CIB). Línea de investigación Cartagena Neurotrauma Research Group. Facultad de Medicina — Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena Colombia.
  2. Médico. Especialista en Neurocirugía. Faculta de Medicina – Universidad de Cartagena. Cartagena de Indias, Bolívar
  3. Red Latino Organización Latinoamericana de Trauma y cuidado Neurointensivo.