HF 6147

Caring for Your Child After Nasal Cautery

Electrical nasal cautery closes off a blood vessel in the nose to relieve the problem of nosebleeds. It is a short procedure done under general anesthesia.

What to Expect

Your child may have nausea from the anesthesia.


Start with clear liquids and slowly move to solid foods. If your child still has nausea, start over with clear liquids and slowly advance.


If they have pain, give acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen, as needed.

Wound Care

  • Apply antibiotic ointment to the inside of the nose with a cotton swab at bedtime for two weeks. Do not insert further than the cotton on the stick.

  • Only use nasal saline spray if your doctor tells you to.

  • No nose picking. If your child picks their nose when sleeping, have them wear socks on their hands while in bed.


  • Your child can take part in normal activity, as they are able. If your child is in daycare or school, they may return the day after the procedure.

  • Do not blow the nose for 1 week. Wipe the nose with a tissue rather than blowing it.

Follow Up

Your doctor will let you know if you need to come back for a return visit.

When to Call

  • They have frequent nausea or vomiting.

  • A fever over 102°F.

  • If they get a nosebleed. While calling, have someone pinch the nostrils (the fleshy part of the nose)without letting up on the pressure for 10 minutes.

  • You have any other questions or concerns.

Who to Call

If your child was seen for their pre-op visit in the Pediatric ENT Clinic in Madison at the American Family Children’s Hospital, please call (608) 263-6420, option 3, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

If your child was seen for their pre-op visit in the Pediatric ENT Clinic in Rockford at the Women and Children’s Hospital, please call (779) 696-8499, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

After hours, weekends or holidays, please call the Madison/American Family Children’s Hospital phone number. This number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the otolaryngology (ENT) doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

The toll-free number is 1-800-323-8942.