Control of Epistaxis

Epistaxis, or bleeding from the nose, is a common condition. It is rarely life threatening except in adults with medical problems, on blood thinners, or in those with hereditary bleeding disorders. However, it can certainly cause concern, especially for parents of small children. Most recurring nosebleeds are due to environmental factors causing a “chapped nose”, similar to chapped lips, although some can be due to other causes such as tumors, infections or abnormal blood vessels. Epistaxis can be divided into two categories – anterior and posterior. The difference is where the bleeding originates. Anterior nosebleeds are typically much simpler to control.

In most patients, the nasal bleeding can be controlled with application of medications, cauterization, nasal packing, or some combination thereof. After undergoing a nasal procedure to treat epistaxis, patients should be closely observed for any signs of complications or additional bleeding.

As with all types of surgery, there is a risk of other complications such as: infection, and potential reactions to drugs and anesthesia. More specific but rare complications include inability to fully control nosebleeds, nasal deformity, dissatisfaction of patient, septal perforation, scarring, and need for further procedures.