Cautery / Diathermy Septum

January 25, 2018
Division of Tongue Tie
January 25, 2018

Cautery / Diathermy Septum

What is a septal cautery diathermy?

Septal cautery/diathermy is operating inside the nose to coagulate the abnormal blood vessels on the dividing wall inside of the nose.

My anaesthetic

This procedure will require an anaesthetic. See About your anaesthetic information sheet for information about anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, discuss these with your doctor.

If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure. They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:
  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room.
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.
Specific risks:
  • Bleeding. This may happen either at time of surgery or in the first two weeks after surgery. Delayed bleeding may require re-admission to hospital and may require another operation to stop the bleeding. A blood transfusion may be necessary depending on the amount of blood lost.
  • Infection – ongoing bad breath, worsening throat discomfort or delayed bleeding may indicate an infection. This is usually treated with antibiotics. Delayed bleeding is treated as outlined above.
  • Hole in the partition inside the nose. This does not usually cause any problems. Sometimes it may cause whistling, crusting or bleeding and may require further surgery to close the hole. This may cause disfigurement.
  • Nose bleeds may come back due to re-growth of the abnormal blood vessels.

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