How To Take Care Of Yourself After Sinus Surgery
1. Prop Your Head
Use several pillows to keep your head propped up while sleeping or lying down. This will reduce swelling. You should do this for the first week after surgery.
2. Avoid Strenuous Activities
Any strenuous activities which put pressure on your nose, such as heavy lifting and repeatedly bending, should be avoided. They can increase the swelling and bleeding. Unless advised by the doctor, you should not blow your nose for a week after surgery. Never insert anything in the nose. Sneeze naturally with mouth open.
3. Change the Gauze Drip Pad
Since there will be post-surgery bloody discharge, you can change the gauze drip pad as frequently as required. It gradually stops and usually changes into mucus discharge. However, if the gauze is soaked and needs to be changed every 15 minutes, you should consult your doctor.
4. Use Saline Nasal Spray
You may use saline spray up to five times a day. There will not be any hard scabbing if saline spray is used frequently. If you also use nasal packing, the spray will keep it moist and make the package removal less painful. You can buy the saline in the pharmacy or you may want to prepare it at home. Just add 1/4th teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of boiled water.
5. Keep Your Mouth Clean
6. Maintain Healthy Lifestyle
7. Sinus Irrigations
Sinus Structure And Function
- The sinuses normally act to filter and humidify the inhaled air and provide protection to the eyes and face in case of injury
- There are four sets of sinuses in the face and skull:
- The maxillary sinuses are located beneath the eyes on either side of the nose
- The ethmoid sinuses are located between the eyes
- The frontal sinuses are located above the eyes in the forehead
- The sphenoid sinuses are located deep behind the nose in the centre of the skull
When To See A Doctor
If your sinus symptoms dont improve after 10 days or they get worse, see a doctor. This could be a sign of a more serious infection that may require a prescription.
You should also see a doctor if you experience the following symptoms along with sinus congestion, pressure, or irritation:
- fever of 102°F or higher
- increased greenish or bloody nasal discharge
- mucus with a strong odor
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Why Is Sinus Surgery Performed
Sinus infections are usually treated with medication rather than surgery. Sinus surgery may be necessary when those infections are recurrent or persistent. Sinus surgery is most commonly used to treat chronic sinusitis , but may be needed for other sinus problems.
Surgery involves enlarging the openings between the sinuses and the inside of the nose so air can get in and drainage can get out. It may involve removing infected sinus tissue, bone or polyps. Modern sinus surgery has less post-surgical bleeding, is less invasive and involves a shorter recovery time than sinus surgery in the past.
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Maybe one of today’s most common sinus surgery options, FESS is a procedure that utilizes a magnifying endoscope to both view the sinuses and remove any affected tissue or bone. It’s reconstructive to open the connection between the sinuses and nose. The result should produce better drainage, reduce blockages and flush out infected material while maintaining healthy tissue for the nose to operate normally. As the name suggests, the procedure is endoscopic. Your ENT surgeon makes small incisions inside the nose to allow for a small tube with a camera and light at the end to survey the inside of the nasal cavity. FESS is often performed in conjunction with other sinus surgery options like septoplasty.
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Cleaning Of The Nose After Sinus Surgery: Necessary Or Only Bothersome
|The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.|
|First Posted : September 16, 2005Last Update Posted : February 28, 2014|
- Study Details
|Procedure: debridement or saline irrigation||Not Applicable|
Frequent cleaning/debridement of the nose after sinus surgery is believed to improve the outcome of functional endoscopic sinus surgery . However, the scientific data on its effects are limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of cleaning/ debridement of the middle meatus 5-7 days and 12-14 days after sinus surgery in a randomized, partly blinded, controlled clinical trial.
How Long It Takes To Recover From A Sinus Surgery
Sinus surgery and acute sinusitis treatment has been around for many years and the recovery time has declined as techniques, technology and medical understanding have improved. Average time of recovery for the most popular sinus operation ranges from several days to a few weeks.
It is important to note that recovery is a step by step process. For example, it may take you a little longer to start exercising again within a week of surgery. This does not indicate, though, that the sinuses have healed completely. When the recovery continues, you can do more daily work.
You can’t predict just how long your own recovery will take.
So, you can get back to work in a matter of days when you undergo a relatively non-extensive surgery. However, if you do have a more extensive operation or need hard work, it may be a few weeks before you get back to work.
Your ENT specialist is the correct person for acute sinusitis treatment to determine exactly how long a recovery in your unique case is likely to take.
That said there are a few variables that can significantly speed recovery.
It may take you several weeks to recover completely. After the operation, you will have some swelling and tenderness within your nose, but that’s normal. Symptoms such as severe cold or sinus infection can occur. This is because of swelling, dried blood, mucus, and nasal crushing. Your doctor can prescribe nasal sprays or antibiotic lubricants make your nasal condition normal.
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What Should You Expect During Surgery
- Endoscopic sinus surgery usually takes between one and three hours and is done in the operating room with the child under general anesthesia.
- Most young children spend the night in the hospital, but some older children may stay for only a couple of hours after surgery.
- Endoscopic sinus surgery may be performed at the same time as another operation such as septoplasty, tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, or insertion of ear tubes.
What To Expect In Sinus Surgery Recovery
When there is diseased sinus tissue, it is removed in a sinus surgery. During the surgery, the channels of the sinus are improved by creating a pathway which helps any infected tissue to drain away. Like any other surgery, the post-operative care is very essential for the sinus surgery recovery. The complete healing time depends on the type of procedure and the health condition of the person. The doctor will let you know what care needs to be taken after the surgery.
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Symptoms Immediately After Your Sinus Surgery
After sinus surgery, you can expect a number of immediate symptoms, including:
Congestion: Right after surgery, your nose will feel stuffy, like theres something inside of it.Bleeding: During the first few days post-surgery, youll experience some bleeding. You can place gauze or tissue under your nose to catch the drainage and change it as needed. This will be frequent in the first couple of days, but should taper off in a few days.Fatigue: As your body heals and recovers, you will feel extremely tired. This can last for a couple weeks post-surgery, and its important to rest as much as you need to.Mild pain: Most patients dont experience severe pain after sinus surgery, and are able to control their pain with Tylenol. However, every patient is different and for some, pain may be more intense.Sinus headaches: After sinus surgery, your sinuses may be swollen, causing pressure changes that lead to headaches.
How To Do A Sinus Flush
The first step is to create a saline solution. Typically, this is done by mixing warm, sterile water with pure salt, known as sodium chloride, to create an isotonic solution.
While you can create your own saline solution at home, its recommended that you purchase over-the-counter premixed saline packets.
Its crucial to use sterile water for this step. This is due to the risk of a serious infection with a parasitic amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. Once this amoeba enters the sinuses, it makes its way to the brain and causes a fatal infection.
You can sterilize your water by boiling it for a minute and then allowing it to cool.
To clear your sinuses, follow these steps:
If youve recently had sinus surgery, resist the urge to blow your nose for four to seven days following the procedure.
- severe headache
- stinging in the nose
- sensation of ear fullness
- nosebleeds, though this is rare
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When Would I Need Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Your healthcare provider may recommend FESS if you have chronic sinus inflammation or a chronic sinus infection that doesnt improve with medical treatments, such as antibiotics and medications to manage allergies.
You develop sinusitis when the tissue that lines your sinuses begins to swell, trapping mucus that typically flows through your sinuses and out through your nose. The trapped fluid can grow bacteria that can cause infections. Healthcare providers may also recommend surgery if you have nasal polyps.
After Sinus Surgery Sinus Surgery Recovery
- You should be aware that it might take many weeks for your nose to work well after surgery even longer if you have had chronic infections
- During that period of time the fine hair cells in the nose and sinuses do not work well, and mucus will tend to collect in the nose and sinuses rather than be cleared out by the hair cells
- The mucus may become thick, form crusts and become infected if you do not rinse your nose
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What Do I Do After Surgery
After any general anesthetic, you should go home and rest for the remainder of the day. Do not make any important decisions or drive a car for at least 24 hours after taking prescription pain relievers.
Keep your head elevated to reduce swelling. In addition, warm, moist air can be soothing after the procedure.
Crusts/blood clots will usually accumulate in the sinus cavities after sinus surgery. These can cause residual infections and scarring that leads to further sinus trouble. However, irrigating with sterile salt water will help you to keep your nose clean.
It is important to remember to not blow your nose for at least two weeks. Your surgeon will want to examine your nose in the office within a week after endoscopic sinus surgery, and may spend some time and effort cleaning your nose.
Several such visits may be required, depending on the health of your nose at follow-up. Unlike most types of surgery, the professional fees for sinus surgery do not include postoperative endoscopy and cleaning. Therefore, depending on your insurance, you may need referrals for these visits and should expect to be billed separately from the main surgery.
Remember the following after surgery:
- Do not blow your nose
- Continue allergy medications
- Keep your appointments
Sinus Surgery Recovery Time
The recovery time is usually about three to five days. The patient should not indulge in any activity which causes the heart rate or blood pressure to increase such as running and weight lifting. The surgeon will list the activities which should be avoided and also the time by when they can be resumed. Patients should take lots of rest and restrict physical activity.
When to Call Your Doctor After Surgery
During the time of recovery, you should inform the doctor in case of the following:
- You have a fever of 101 °F or higher
- There is continuous clear and watery discharge during the first week after surgery
- There are sudden changes in your vision or swelling in your eyes
- Stiffness in your neck or severe headache, increased swelling accompanied by redness
- If the pain does not reduce by medicine or if medicine causes nausea
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The First Week After Surgery
Other recommendations to encourage healing during your first week of recovery include:
- Dont blow your nose. Use a saline rinse to clear your nose.
- Sneeze with your mouth open. Dont avoid sneezing, but if possible try to keep your mouth open.
- Avoid strenuous activities. This includes biking, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercises. Light walking and household activities are OK.
- Dont bend over or lift anything heavy. Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds.
- Avoid swimming. You can take a shower or bath, using lukewarm water.
- Use a humidifier. This will keep the air in your home moist.
- Keep your mouth clean. Use salt-water or alcohol-free mouthwash after each meal and before bedtime.
A Brief Explanation Of The Sinuses And Sinus Congestion
In order to understand how to clear the sinuses, it is necessary to have a grasp of what exactly the sinuses are, and what is happening when they become congested.
The sinuses are a series of small air cavities in the skull, located within the cheek bones, behind the nose and in the forehead. They are connected to the throat and nasal passages and represent the uppermost components of the respiratory tract.
Sometimes, these cavities can become inflamed and filled with mucus and cause sinus congestion. There are many different things which can cause this to happen, and the medicinal treatments will vary depending on the specific cause. Some of the most common diseases and environmental factors which can cause sinus congestion include:
- The common cold
- Allergens and dust particles
Regardless of what is causing it, the symptoms of sinus congestion will usually be the same: uncomfortable pressure in the sinus cavities, headaches, and difficulty breathing linked to the inflammation and mucus buildup.
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The Procedure: Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Today, the most common sinus surgery to treat chronic sinusitis is called functional endoscopic sinus surgery . However, it should be noted that the procedure your ENT performs will depend on your situation. For example, some patients need surgery to repair septal deviation, spreader grafts for internal valve narrowing, or turbinate reduction if the turbinates are contributing to the problem.
During functional endoscopic sinus surgery a small scope with a high-definition camera is inserted into the nose. The camera will project an image onto a TV screen, which will allow your surgeon to see the blockage to or narrowing of your sinuses. Special instruments will be used to enlarge the openings. The functional aspect of the surgery refers to the fact that it enlarges the openings and therefore improves the function of the sinuses.
There are several advantages to having endoscopic sinus surgery. The procedure is usually quite effective and typically can be performed on an outpatient basis. The endoscopic technique has few associated complications and there is little pain during the recovery period.
Purpose Of Balloon Sinuplasty
As mentioned, the purpose of this procedure is to take on cases of chronic sinusitisa form of the disease in which symptoms dont resolve after 12 weeksthat arise without polyps, clinically called chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyposis .”
Typically, other means of treatment are attempted first, such as the prescription of antibiotics along with topical steroids. If these other methods dont yield results, then balloon sinuplasty will be considered.
As with any surgical procedure, proper diagnosis is essential prior to balloon sinuplasty. In particular, your healthcare provider needs to make sure your sinusitis would actually from this treatment as opposed to others. What sorts of tests are needed? Though not all may be applied to every patient, heres a quick breakdown:
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Where Are My Sinuses Located
You have five major sinuses on each side of your face.
The frontal and maxillary sinuses are the large, open cavities located above and below each eye, respectively. Each sinus opens into the nose through the narrow passage. When this passage is blocked, it can cause a number of issues, including:
- Cheek pain
- Frontal headaches
The sphenoid sinuses are the large sinus cavities located behind the eyes . The optic nerve , the internal carotid artery , and the pituitary gland are all situated within or along the sphenoid sinus.
If your sinus infection is located in the sphenoid sinuses, it can become quite serious, as it can lead to:
- Cranial nerve involvement
- Brain abscess
Many patients who experience this type of sinus infection describe the pain as coming from their head, especially in the back of their head. Therefore, it is vital to seek medical attention if you begin to experience symptoms of a sinus infection, particularly a headache.
The ethmoid sinus is more like a honeycomb than a cavity, and contains multiple small air pockets separated by paper thin bone. Located directly between the eye sockets, the ethmoids extend up to the base of the frontal lobe of the brain.
During sinus surgery, Dr. Davis divides the ethmoid cavity into an anterior portion and a posterior portion .