Posterior Epistaxis Treatment

In the unlikely event that physicians discover you are suffering form a posterior epistaxis, they will at first try a conservative therapy. This therapy entails applying local pressure for ten minutes and nasal spraying of vasoconstrictors – or agents that constrict the blood vessels.

Any nosebleed that doesn’t respond to these measures is called an intractable epistaxis. To control them, an otolaryngologist (familiarly known as an "ear, nose and throat doctor") may be forced to perform more aggressive and invasive forms of therapy. These include cautery (the cutting of abnormal tissue), injection of drugs that cause the blood to coagulate, nasal packing or surgery in which is blood vessels are tied off. Unfortunately, these endeavors are not hugely successful. Nasal packing, for example, has an estimated failure rate of between 25 and 50 percent.

Thankfully, the typical nosebleed heals itself if given the chance. Therefore, the strategy for treatment is simply to reduce the blood pressure and flow going to the region without damaging surrounding areas.

If the bleeding does not stop on its own, your St. Joseph’s Hospital physician can perform endovascular embolization, a procedure in which a tiny tube is placed in the blood vessels of your groin, and led to the blood vessels in your nose. These vessels can then be plugged from the inside. Success rates for patients undergoing this procedure range from 96 to 100 percent.

Typically, the nosebleed is easily controlled with embolization. Although a slight aching may occur, any discomfort is usually temporary and mild.