What to expect following Sinus surgery

Endoscopic sinus surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis and takes approximately one hour to perform. It may be performed in conjunction with septoplasty or turbinate surgery.  In cases of chronic sinus inflammation affecting multiple sinuses, surgery should be considered part of the treatment and not solely a cure. Treatment of ongoing inflammation such as allergy and / or infection with medications and or immunotherapy is advised for best long-term outcomes.

Recovery time following sinus surgery takes approximately 3-5 days. Packing may or may not be placed depending on the patient’s condition. Antibiotics and pain medications are prescribed following. The nasal cavity takes approximately 3-4 weeks to completely heal inside and saline sprays are used to help allow for healing.

Smoking is not permitted following sinus surgery, as healing may be affected and prolonged infection and unfavorable outcomes result.

Nose blowing, heavy lifting (>10 lbs), and flying should be avoided for approximately two weeks. Driving may be resumed after 48 hours or if no further pain medications are required.

Complications following sinus surgery are rare and include but are not limited to bleeding and infection (<1%). Even rarer complications such as injury to the eye or brain, including spinal fluid and stroke have been reported in the literature (<0.001%).

Mild headache and drainage are not uncommon complaints in the weeks during the healing process following surgery and are not considered complications. They will usually resolve within three weeks and are easily managed with Tylenol or Motrin. Follow up appointments with your surgeon will ensure appropriate healing.

Post-op visits on day 1, week 1 and week 3 are given to ensure appropriate healing and understanding of post op care.

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