UNILATERAL ANTERIOR EPISTAXIS ELECTROCAUTERY VERSUS CHEMICAL CAUTERY
Objective: To evaluate and compare the two methods, electrocautery versus chemical cautery, for controlling unilateral anterior epistaxis and to identify the complications.
Design: Randomized control trial.
Place and Duration: This study was conducted in ENT Department PNS Shifa Hospital Karachi from August 2009 to June 2011.
Patients and Methods: Ninety two cases with unilateral anterior epistaxis were divided using random number trials into two groups i.e. group A and group B containing 46 cases each. In group A electrocautery and in group B chemical cautery with 50% silver nitrate was done and the results were compared.
Results: In this study 92 cases were divided randomly into two groups i.e. group A and group B containing 46 cases in each group. In group A 44 (95.6%) out of 46 cases were treated successfully with a single visit as an outpatient by electrocautery, the patients were called for follow up on the fifth day and then fortnightly for three months after the procedure, only 2 (4.3%) cases reported in first five days with mild recurrence of bleeding. In group B 42 (91.3%) cases out of 46 cases were treated successfully in a single visit and recurrence of bleeding occurred in 4 (8.7%) cases who required a second visit during the first five days .There were no major complications found in either group except few complaints of post cauterization pain and mucosal inflammation observed slightly more in group B patients.
Conclusion: Electrocautery and chemical cautery with 50% silver nitrate both are equally effective procedures to control anterior epistaxis if the bleeding point is visible and small. Both procedures are reliable and there are no major complications. Occasionally if the bleeding point in the anterior nasal septum is large then electrocautery may be a preferred option.