Sinus Surgery


Postoperative Expectations/ Instructions:

  • Activity: Take it very easy for 72 hours following your surgery.  Plan on light activity for two weeks. Do not lift over 10 pounds or bend down such that the head is below the heart for 2 weeks.
  • Discomfort: Discomfort levels vary from patient to patient. You will receive a prescription for narcotic pain medication that will be needed for 2-3 days. Most people need a minimum of 3 days off work with a maximum of one week due to discomfort.  Avoid aspirin and NSAID’s (such as ibuprofen) for 2 weeks unless discussed with your doctor, as bleeding and/or polyp formation may occur.
  • Nasal Congestion: For the first week after surgery, your head will feel stuffy and your nose obstructed. This is normal because of postoperative swelling of the mucous membranes of your nose, which will gradually decrease over the next few weeks.  Nasal packing and/or splints may or may not be left in place after surgery.  If you do have packing/splints, you will need to follow-up in our office for removal per your doctor’s instructions within two weeks of your operation.
  • Nose Blowing: DO NOT blow your nose for the first 10 days following your surgery. If you need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open. The walls between your eye and sinuses are very thin and elevated air pressure may blow air into the tissue around your eye and cause it to swell. The air will absorb, so there is no treatment needed.
  • Eye Symptoms: Eye ointment used in surgery is greasy and may cause temporary blurring of vision. If the tissue around your eye turns black and blue, and/or you have  severe pain, contact our office.  Vision problems (loss of vision, double vision) are rare events which would demand an immediate call to your doctor.
  • Forehead pressure: If you had image guided (computer assisted) surgery, then a frame was placed snugly around your forehead and it may be sore or red where the suction cups were placed.
  • Drainage: You may experience some bloody discharge, which is normal postoperatively. Use a gauze pad under your nose to collect the blood. It is not uncommon to change 3 gauze pads an hour for the first 24-48. If you are concerned, please call. If you get profuse, clear nasal drainage from one side of the nose, try to collect it in a cup and call (this could be the fluid that surrounds your brain, a very rare complication).
  • Irrigation: You will need to irrigate/spray your nose with saline 4-6 times a day. Begin irrigating the morning after surgery, as it is critical to the healing process and minimizes crusting and obstruction.
  • Diet: Start with clear liquids. Once this is tolerated, advance to soft foods then a regular diet. Your throat might be sore from the breathing tube for a few days.
  • Fever: Contact our office with any temperature of 102° F or higher, particularly if associated with a severe headache and/or neck stiffness.
  • Follow-up: A return visit will be needed.  Please make sure that you have an appointment scheduled with your physician to make sure the sinuses are healing properly and to remove any packing or debris. As a general rule, you can expect three to five visits during the first two months after surgery. As always, call with any questions, problems or concerns.