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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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My 84 year old mother had a gallstones surgery (she actually

Customer Question

my 84 year old mother had a gallstones surgery (she actually had the gallblader removed as a result) and there were bleeding and had a huge hematoma and docs said nothing more they can do so she at home with hospice? how can this be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

I am sorry that your mother is having so much difficulty.

There are several aspects of this situation that does not make sense, but her doctors may not have provided an adequate explanation.

A hematoma is a collection of blood in the tissue that forms a clot. It can occur as a bleeding complication from any surgery. This is different than a blood clot that forms in a blood vessel, which can break off and travel within the blood vessels. Since the clot is in the tissue, it cannot break off and travel elsewhere in the body.

While a hematoma can cause local pain or swelling, it usually does not cause serious issue and is typically not life threatening or needing hospice care. If it is particularly large, it is possible that it could interfere with blood supply by squeezing the blood vessel from the outside, but in these rare cases, the hematoma can usually be drained to relieve the pressure. Hematomas in enclosed spaces also can cause problems, such as a hematoma within the skull creating pressure on the brain, but these also can usually be drained.

Did her doctors provide any explanation of what problem it is causing to require hospice and why it could not be drained?