Epistaxis (or Nosebleed) is defined as bleeding from the nose which occurs due to burst of a blood vessel within the nose. The nasal cavity has a rich blood supply from both internal and external carotid arteries. More than 90% of nosebleeds occur from the anterior part of the nose in an area known as little’s area which is extremely vascular. The causes of nosebleed include local causes (trauma, inflammation, nasal irritation or tumor), systemic causes (such as any blood disorder) or idiopathic (unknown cause).
Some severe cases of epistaxis with persistent life-threatening nosebleeds may require a procedure called embolization. It is done by endovascular surgeon who makes a small incision in your groin and places navigating catheter into femoral artery which is then advanced up to vessels of face and nose. The surgeon then embolizes the branch supplying the nasal cavity with materials such as gelatin sponge, Gelfoam Powder, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles or platinum coils.
Alternatively, epistaxis can be treated by open surgical ligation of clipping of bleeding artery in the nasal cavity.