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Treatment / Protected: Epistaxis Embolization

Patients with epistaxis, commonly called nose bleeds that are persistent enough to categorize themselves as life threatening nose bleeds may benefit from embolization. Not all people are candidates or will benefit from treatment; however at times these patients can be treated by surgical intervention from ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeons. First, patients often need to be evaluated by CTA to exclude neoplasm or abnormal anatomy.

Epistaxis (Nosebleed) Embolization

Epistaxis embolization can be considered when nose bleeding is severe, difficult to locate or does not respond to traditional treatment. Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting materials such as sponge particles, gel foam, metal coils or fiber into a blood vessel to completely block its blood flow. An embolization procedure is performed in a hospital setting, and it requires only a single, small incision in the large femoral artery in the groin.

Using contrast dye and sophisticated x-ray imaging, the endovascular specialist directs a catheter through the groin incision to the site of the bleeding. Then, the physician threads a microcatheter through the larger catheter tube to the site. Through this catheter, sponge particles or other embolization material can be released into the affected artery. Once the sponge particles are in place, the catheters are withdrawn, and the incision is closed.

Embolization treatment for epistaxis is not permanent. The skin in the nose renews itself, and within about six weeks, all the sponge particles placed in the nose are absorbed by the body. But that time period is sufficient to ensure that the bleeding is permanently stopped in nearly all cases.

Recovery

The treatment for epistaxis takes about an hour. Afterwards, you will need to lie flat with your leg extended for four to six hours to ensure that the bleeding is controlled. Without complications, you can expect to remain in the hospital overnight for the monitoring of your groin incision and recovery of your nose bleeding. Most patients go home the following day.

 

If you have been diagnosed with recurrent epistaxis or severe nosebleeds and have questions regarding your treatment options, call IVC today at 503-612-0498.

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