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Diagnosis / Recurrent Epistaxis

What is Epistaxis?

Epistaxis or nosebleed is relatively common in the general population. Nosebleeds typically resolve on their own or are easily treated in a medical environment. For some patients, nosebleeds can be severe enough that further treatments are needed.

What Causes Epistaxis?

Severe episodes of nosebleeds can be caused by:

  • Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) – also known as Osler Weber Rendu syndrome, is genetically inherited condition. People with HHT have small blood vessel malformations, known as telangiectasias, which affect the skin and mucosal membranes. Nosebleeds are the most common symptoms; between 50 percent and 80 percent have recurrent bleeds.
  • Spontaneous Epistaxis – usually occurs in a patient’s 50s, and may be associated with hypertension or liver insufficiency. This type of nosebleed resolves without medical treatment; however, in some patients, the intensity or repetition of hemorrhages in a short period of time may require more invasive nosebleed treatment such as embolization.
  • Trauma
  • Tumors – Occasionally bleeding form the nasal or oral cavities may be related to the presence of a tumor. If there is concern for this, further imaging such as computer tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate what is happening.
  • Vascular Malformations

IVC’s Treatment for Epistaxis

The first step in managing a severe nosebleed involves “packing” the nose, which should be performed by an appropriately trained physician. If this does not stop the bleeding, a procedure called embolization is performed to block the blood vessel supplying the inner lining of the nose.

If you experience severe blood loss from a nosebleed, it can cause serious anemia or cardiac dysfunction and reduced quality of life. At IVC, we can use embolization and stenting to treat severe, recurring nosebleeds that cannot be controlled by traditional methods.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for consultation, please call IVC at 503-612-0498.

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