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Cauterization is an effective treatment for chronic nosebleeds. It involves burning the inside of the nose with an electrical device to close off part of the nose and prevent further bleeding. A patient who experiences chronic nosebleeds often has an exposed blood vessel in the nose. Closing it off usually results in significantly fewer, or a cessation of, nosebleeds.

The Cauterization Procedure

Prior to the cauterization procedure, the doctor numbs the nose with a local anesthetic to eliminate any potential discomfort. A microscope will be used to inspect the lining of the nose, and to precisely target the bleeding point or source of the frequent nosebleeds. The area will then be burned with a chemical agent or electrical device that destroys or coagulates the tissue in the area. The cauterization process causes the tissue to fuse together, sealing the ruptured nasal membrane.

Recovery From Cauterization

After the procedure, a patient may experience mild bleeding from the nose, but it usually goes away after a day or two. A patient should avoid the following for up to a week after the cauterization procedure:

  • Blowing the nose
  • Strenuous activity
  • Heavy lifting
  • Taking aspirin
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use

A patient may be advised to use lubricating nose drops while the nasal tissue heals. If a patient has to sneeze, the mouth should be kept open.

Most patients heal successfully from the cauterization procedure, and will experience few or no nosebleeds in the future.