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Nasal Sinus Surgery

Remember it is very important not to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. This includes coffee, juice and water.

On the morning of surgery, please report to surgery center/hospital as scheduled.

Instructions for patients having surgery on the nose or sinuses or both:

  • Headache and facial pain are normal after surgery. Take the pain medications as directed. Remember that there may be some soreness and pressure that are not relieved by the pain medication.
  • You will usually be given a prescription for an antibiotic. Take all of the prescription as directed.
  • For one week, is very important to keep your head elevated. You may choose to sleep with two pillows or in a recliner. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
  • You should avoid strenuous activity for about a week or until your doctor says it is okay. This includes housework, heavy office work, sex and strenuous exercise.
  • Do not take VIAGRA or any sexually enhancing medications for at least 6 weeks after surgery, as they can cause profuse bleeding.
  • Do not blow your nose. You may sniff gently. If you have to sneeze, try to open your mouth as you sneeze.
  • A low-grade fever is common after surgery. However, if the fever is above 101.5, please call the office.
  • You may feel like you have a severe “head-cold” after surgery. Headache and sore throat are common and frequently result from post-operative drainage and mouth-breathing. Decongestants will not relieve these symptoms. Some people complain of soreness or swelling in or around the teeth and numbness of the upper lip. This is normal and will gradually subside, although, it may take weeks.
  • You will normally have drainage from the nose. This is mostly old blood and blood-tinged mucous. You may change the drip pad under your nose as often as necessary. If you feel that your nose is bleeding excessively, call the office. In general, the drip pad should not have to be changed more frequently than every ten minutes.
  • Depending on the extent of the surgery, your nose may be packed from 1-7 days. We will remove it in the office at your first post-operative appointment. In some cases, dissolvable packing may be used, which does not have to be removed.
  • Saline nasal spray should be used regularly after removal of the packing to help loosen secretions.
  • If you are having a septoplasty, you may have splints inside your nose. The splints are usually removed one week after the surgery. These will also be removed in the office.
  • After the packing and splints are removed, you may breathe better for a few hours, then the inside of your nose may swell again. Decongestant sprays will not make you feel better, so do not use them. Your doctor may suggest topical nasal steroid sprays. It may take several weeks for swelling to go down completely. The tip of your nose also may be sensitive for several weeks post-operatively.

The following applies if you are having SINUS surgery:

The insurance industry and the Health Care Finance Administration (an agency of the Federal Government) treat endoscopic sinus surgery differently than most other types of surgery in the way the surgeon is reimbursed for his or her services.

For the endoscopic procedures, the payment to the surgeon for the procedure covers the procedure itself, but does not cover the additional care rendered by the surgeon in the office during the post-operative period. This is why charges (and any required co-payments) will be incurred for the care your surgeon provides after the surgery.