The expected benefits of sinus surgery can exist at three levels: reductions in nasal and sinus-related symptoms, improved sense of smell, and fewer secretions. Dr. Macdonald is a leading San Francisco facial plastic surgeon who performs paranasal sinus surgery to help patients reduce specific symptoms. Although sinus surgery can have a significant positive impact on a patient, the procedure can also have severe complications, especially if the patient does not observe postoperative guidelines.
1. Care for bleeding
It is common to have bleeding after sinus surgery, especially in the first 48 to 72 hours after surgery. Some of the ways to care for your bleeding include:
- Please change the bandage underneath your nose every 15 minutes, if necessary, or you can wear an old t-shirt and wrap your pillow in a towel to keep your things clean.
- You can use Aspirin up to three times a day to help decrease the bleeding, holding pressure as needed. However, it is essential to consult with your surgeon before taking any medications to relieve bleeding.
- If you have continuous bleeding, please let your surgeon know so that you can receive emergency care.
2. Care for pain
It is common to have pain after sinus surgery, especially in the areas across your forehead, your maxillary sinuses, and across the septum of your nose. Please avoid Aspirin and ibuprofen unless you are instructed to take them by your surgeon. If needed, you can take the narcotic pain medicine that your surgeon prescribed to you after surgery. The pain should go away in a few weeks. However, if you feel that it is getting worse and unbearable, notify your surgeon immediately.
3. General care
It is prevalent to feel tired after general anesthesia, and you need to let your body have time to rest and recover. Your surgeon will recommend taking five days off of work.
Please perform your nasal irrigations four to six times a day to help moisten the nasal packing that was placed during surgery. Your nose will be very congested after the procedure, and irrigation helps the congestion improve. The congestion will also improve after you go for your postoperative visit.
After the surgery, it is essential to avoid nose blowing, coughing with your mouth closed, and physical strain. Therefore, please avoid any heavy exercise. Although your surgeon will encourage you to walk and do gentle stretching, please also avoid your steroid spray until you are clear to use it by your physician.
What is the importance of postoperative visits for sinus surgery?
Your postoperative visit should be between seven and 14 days after your surgery. During your postoperative visit, your surgeon will remove some of the packing using a small section in the office.
When should you call your surgeon?
Contact your surgeon for immediate care if you have fevers over 101, difficulty breathing, severe headaches, neck pain, intolerance of light, or any other new or concerning symptoms.
Please make sure to follow up with the Aesthetic Surgery Center regarding your postoperative instructions. If you observe postoperative care, you will recover quickly from sinus surgery.