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After Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

After surgery you’ll be moved to a recovery room. You may feel groggy from the anesthesia and will likely have some discomfort. There will be a dressing under your nose to absorb drainage. You may also have packing (absorbent bandage) inside your nose. You can usually go home as soon as you’re no longer feeling groggy. This is usually the same day. In certain cases, an overnight stay may be necessary.

Man in hospital gown sitting up in chair with IV in arm and bandage under nose. Healthcare provider is talking to him.

The First Week

Your doctor will schedule an office visit a few days after surgery to check on your progress. At this visit, dried blood and mucus are removed to promote healing. Any nasal packing will be removed as well. It’s normal to feel stuffiness and have pinkish or dark red drainage. Change your nasal dressing as needed, and take any prescribed medications. Also be sure to drink plenty of water. Other guidelines from your doctor may include:

  • Rinsing your nose and sinuses with saltwater

  • Sneeze with your mouth open

  • Not blowing your nose

  • Avoiding strenuous exercise, straining, or lifting

  • Using a humidifier to keep nasal passages moist

  • Not taking aspirin or ibuprofen

  • Sleeping with your upper body elevated

  • Avoiding hot and spicy foods

The Next Few Weeks

As you’re healing, it’s normal to feel some stuffiness and have nasal crusting. Keeping your nasal passages clean and moist will help speed the healing process and prevent scarring. Also, be sure to:

  • Take medication as directed.

  • Avoid irritating substances such as dust, chalk, and harsh chemicals.

  • Use saltwater rinses or a humidifier as directed.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Avoid exposure to colds and allergic triggers.

  • Talk with your doctor before swimming or air travel.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • A large amount of bright red bleeding

  • Fever over 101°F

  • Changes in vision, or swelling around the eye

  • Signs of infection, such as yellow or greenish drainage

  • A constant headache or increasing pain

  • Drainage of a large amount of clear fluid

  • Extreme tiredness, or a stiff neck

 

 

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