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Sinus Surgery: What to Expect

Prior to Surgery

  • You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin) and other blood thinners.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.
  • Discuss any possible bleeding disorders or other medical conditions that you may have.
  • Let your doctor know if you have a cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout or other illness prior to surgery. This may require that you reschedule your procedure.
  • Do not smoke. This will help you recover quicker.
  • You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before the surgery.

On the Day of the Surgery

  • Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Please plan to arrive at the hospital at the time given to you by your doctor or nurse.

After Surgery

You will most likely be able to go home a couple of hours after the procedure but will need to limit certain activities for up to two weeks.

Recovery: What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks

Once you are back home, you may need to use a nasal irrigation. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics and pain medications to take for the first week. You may experience some post-surgery bleeding or drainage, but this should be minimal.

There may be an increase in pain, swelling and headaches at first, but your pain medications along with modifying your sleeping position may help alleviate the problem. Your doctor will recommend that you avoid blowing your nose, lifting heavy objects or bending for about a week or two after surgery.

Chronic Sinusitis Q&A

What does the procedure involve?

Under general anesthesia, the surgeon inserts an endoscope into your nose to view the sinus cavities. Instruments are introduced as needed beside the scope. Once inside, the surgeon can remove any polyps or bones that may be causing the blockage. A laser can also be used to clean out excess tissue. After the cavities are cleared, the surgeon secures the implant, which is filled with mometasone furgate, a long-acting steroid that targets the sinuses. The entire procedure takes less than 90 minutes.

How many incisions are made?

It depends if polyps are removed. Otherwise, the laser will do most of the work.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

This is normally an outpatient procedure, and you will most likely go home the same day.

What is the recovery time?

You will have some pain the first few days, but most patients are fully recovered in two weeks. You will have to take some precautions as advised by your doctor during the recovery period.