Nasal Cautery

Nasal cautery is a minor surgical procedure to treat recurring nose bleeds. Nose bleeds occur when the mucosa of the nose erodes, exposing blood vessels that break down causing bleeding. The mucosa may erode due to trauma, infections, or hypertension.

Nasal cautery is an effective treatment for persistent nasal bleeding caused due to damaged blood vessels in the front part of the nose. The goal of cauterization is to seal the ruptured blood vessels using heat or electricity to stop bleeding.


Cauterization is a short duration surgical procedure usually done on an outpatient basis usually under local anesthesia. During this surgery, the exact bleeding location in the nose is confirmed by the surgeon. This is followed by the application of a local anaesthetic agent. The surgeon may either pass electricity or apply a chemical such as silver nitrate to the bleeding vessel and the adjoining tissues by using an instrument. This leads to the formation of scar tissue in the area, which prevents further nosebleeds.

Risks and Complications

Nose cauterization is a relatively risk-free surgery. However, as with all surgical procedures, there are potential risk factors involved in this surgery as well. One such factor is that the surgery can be performed only if the exact bleeding location has been identified. Also, the chemical silver nitrate can cause pain, despite application of a local anaesthetic. Rarely, bleeding may be observed in the cauterized area.