Epistaxis (Nose Bleeds)
Nose bleeds can be extremely annoying to life threatening. There are a number of management options to deal with difficult nose bleeds.
- Creams, ointments etc. This is the first option for most people with nose bleeds. These creams typically have antibiotics in them as most of these bleeds occur from a localised nasal lining infection. Treating the infection allows the skin to heal over and stop further bleeds.
- Silver Nitrate Cautery This is a chemical treatment that can be performed in the clinic with very little pain in most instances. This option with creams deal with the vast majority of patients with difficult nose bleeds.
- Bipolar / Monopolar / Laser cautery This is often used in an operating theatre, and normally requires an anaesthetic.
- Artery Clipping In severe cases one of the main blood vessels that lead to the nose can be clipped (tied off), so that the bleeding is reduced. This is often within the nose with no external scars. It would take about 30 mins and most people can go home relatively swiftly after the operation.
- Silastic Sheeting This is an option for those patients who have Osler Weber Rendu syndrome, otherwise known as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). It is a way of avoiding a very large operation in patients where creams and cautery have not helped. This operation lasts about 15 mins, and patients can go home the same day.