Surgical management of posterior epistaxis: A changing paradigm

Darrell A. Klotz, Mark R. Winkle, Jeremy Richmon, Arthur S. Hengerer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To demonstrate that surgery, as the initial treatment option for posterior epistaxis, can provide comparable success and complication rates to nonsurgical management with fewer associated costs. Study Design: A retrospective chart review and cost analysis. Methods: Two hundred three consecutive charts were reviewed for patient outcome, complications, and hospitalization time. Average costs were calculated from hospital department and physician fee schedules. Results: Average success rate of all surgical procedures performed for posterior epistaxis was 90%, anterior-posterior packing success was 62%, and embolization success was 75%. The packing-only group had a significantly greater mean hospitalization time (5.29 d) than patients who were treated either surgically (2.1 d) or with embolization (2.6 d). The average per-patient admission charges were, for successful posterior packing, $5136 per patient; for surgical treatment, $3851 per patient; and for embolization, $5697 per patient. Surgery offered a cost savings of $1846 per patient over traditional packing. There was no significant difference in complication rates between the groups. Conclusion: The review suggests that a better success rate, a comparable complication rate, and a cost savings can be achieved with surgical intervention as the first-line treatment for intractable epistaxis when compared with traditional anterior-posterior packing and embolization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1577-1582
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Embolization
  • Epistaxis
  • Nasal packing
  • Nose bleed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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