Endoscopic Sphenopalatine Artery Cautery

What is endoscopic sphenopalatine artery cautery? 

The sphenopalatine artery supplies 70-90% of the blood supply to the nose. In cases of severe nosebleeds that do not stop with other measures, it may be necessary to cauterise the artery (use heat to block the artery, thus stopping the bleeding).

 

How does the procedure work?

Endoscopic sphenopalatine artery cautery is always performed under a general anaesthetic. You surgeon will use specialised cameras and instruments through the nostril to locate the artery at the back of the nose. Once located, the artery is then cauterised to prevent further bleeding.

 

Why is it performed?

This procedure is only performed in cases of severe or recurrent nosebleeds when other measures have not been successful.

 

How should I prepare for the procedure?

Endoscopic sphenopalatine artery cautery is always performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital. You will be given specific instructions before your date of surgery instructing you when to stop eating/drinking and specific medication that may be needed before or after surgery. 

 

What can I expect after the surgery?

A dissolvable material is placed into the nasal cavities after the surgery to help with healing and to minimise the risk of potential bleeding. There will be no bruising around the eyes. We pay very careful attention to managing your pain after the procedure. Once at home, you will be asked to gently wash out the nose with a salt-water preparation. This helps clear the nasal passages. It normally takes 1-2 weeks to fully recover from the surgery and anaesthetic.