Endoscopic electrosurgical management of posterior epistaxis: shifting paradigm

J Otolaryngol. 2004 Aug;33(4):211-6. doi: 10.2310/7070.2004.00211.


Recent literature has embraced the use of electrosurgery, sphenopalatine vascular clipping, and endoscopy in posterior epistaxis. With the advent of endoscopy, the surgical treatment of posterior epistaxis has shifted from internal maxillary ligation to endoscopic sphenopalatine artery control. This article introduces an endoscopic electrosurgical approach for patients suffering from idiopathic posterior epistaxis that combines one or more of the following methods: endoscopic selective branch cauterization, endoscopic sphenopalatine artery cautery, and endoscopic posterior nasal cauterization. This approach is currently used in a hospital-based community otolaryngology practice and is presented from a Canadian health care perspective (Quebec). This article presents the experience in a series of 17 patients treated during a 35-month period and prospectively followed and discusses the surgical technique, patients' outcome, and the implications of such a practice.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Demography
  • Electrosurgery / instrumentation*
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Epistaxis / physiopathology
  • Epistaxis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxilla / blood supply
  • Middle Aged
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Palate / blood supply
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sphenoid Bone / blood supply