If you suffer from chronic sinus infections, your ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician may recommend sinus surgery to provide relief. Fortunately, according to one study, “Over 75% of patients reported clinically significant long-term [quality of life] and [health utility values] improvement” after undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery. That said, you do need to care for yourself properly after surgery to yield the best outcomes. We review what to know about recovering from sinus surgery below.
What to Expect
It’s important to know what to expect in terms of what’s normal after your sinus surgery. Some things you can expect are:
- Bleeding. Expect some bloody discharge from the nose, particularly when you irrigate the sinuses. Avoid blowing your nose to get the blood out. Instead, tilt your head back slightly, breathe through your nose gently and dab any blood away with a tissue. If this doesn’t work, try an oxymetazoline nasal spray. If this doesn’t work either, call your doctor.
- Pain. It’s also normal to experience some pain for the first several days after your surgery. It will probably feel like a dull ache, which should be manageable with over-the-counter acetaminophen. Don’t use aspirin or NSAIDs. Your doctor may prescribe something stronger if this doesn’t help.
- Fatigue. You can expect to feel fatigued for about a week post-surgery. Plan to take this time off of work rather than trying to fight through it.
- Nasal congestion/discharge. This is normal for a few weeks after surgery. Expect your breathing to return to normal within two to three weeks.
Take Your Medications
Your physician will probably send you home with some prescriptions that you can pick up at Central Avenue Pharmacy on Central Avenue. Be sure to take them as directed.
Attend Follow-Up Visits
Plan to return to your physician several times after your surgery for follow-up visits. This is to ensure you’re healing well and to clean out the nose and sinuses to prevent infection and relieve discomfort.
What to Avoid
While you’re recovering from surgery, you should avoid:
- Lying flat on your back
- Bending over
- Lifting heavy objects
- Other strenuous activities
- Eating hot or spicy foods
- Blowing your nose
- Packing your nose
- Sneezing with a closed mouth
For more information about recovering from sinus surgery or to schedule an appointment with a sinus expert, call Albany ENT & Allergy Services today.