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Coil Surgery Seen As Nosebleed Solution

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:23am

According to the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, a surgical treatment generally used on patients with tumors and brain disorders could put a stop to incessant nosebleeds. The surgery involves injecting coils into the arteries of the nose through arteries in the leg.

For most people pressure and tissues work, but about one percent of the population – generally older adults on blood thinners – suffer from uncontrollable nosebleeds severe enough that surgery may be considered. Dr. Walter Lesley, director of neuroradiology at the Scott & White Clinic in Temple, Texas led the study.

The report, say its authors, is an important step in figuring out which kind of surgery is safest and most effective. Doctors may use a few other surgeries to treat severe uncontrollable nosebleeds, including a catheter to plug an artery with sponge-like particles, rather than coils, and tying off an artery in the back of the nose with a staple.

The current study did not directly compare different treatment methods, but the coil method had a lower failure rate and fewer serious complications than other methods. So while the use of coils could reduce the possibility of some complications, it may make it more difficult to repeat the surgery on those who need it.

Cost and availability may become leading issues, with the difference between the use of coils and a clip or staple being as much as $7,000.  The platinum-coil based procedure takes about an hour to complete, and patients either go home that day or the next morning, similar to other procedures.

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