Sinus Surgery (Patient Instructions)

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Shah obtained his BA/MD from Boston University and completed his Otolaryngology residency at Tufts University followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at Children's Hospital Boston at Harvard University. After fellowship, he joined the faculty of Children's National Medical Center in 2006. Dr. Shah is an active clinical researcher and has received numerous awards for his research.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Quick GuideSinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms and Treatment Options

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms and Treatment Options

What happens before sinus surgery?

In most situations, the surgery is performed as an outpatient at either the hospital or a surgical center (surgicenter). In both facilities, quality care can be provided without the inconvenience of an overnight stay. An anesthesiologist will review the patient's medical history before surgery, and will monitor the patient throughout the procedure. If the doctor has ordered pre-operative laboratory studies, the patient should arrange to have these done several days in advance, and bring all lab results to the hospital the day of surgery for review.

Arrange for someone to spend the first night after surgery with the patient, if possible in case the patient needs to remain overnight.

After surgery, the doctor will usually advise the patient to start using saline irrigation. There are many different ways to irrigate the sinuses; depending on the surgery that was performed, the surgeon will advise the patient on the best method for this to be done.

In general, patients that have sinus surgery should not take aspirin, or any product containing aspirin, within 10 days prior to the date of surgery. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil) should not be taken within 7 days of the date of surgery. Many over-the-counter products contain aspirin or Advil-like drugs. Therefore, it is important to check all medications carefully. If there is any question please call the doctors that prescribed the medications (surgeon, primary care physician, cardiologist or other specialists) or consult your pharmacist. Depending on the planned surgery, the surgeon may have the patient refrain from such medications for a longer period of time. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is an acceptable pain reliever. Usually the surgeon will give prescriptions for post-surgery pain medications at the preoperative visit. It is best to have these filled prior to the date of surgery.

In most pre-operative preparations, patients must not eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to the time of surgery; the surgeon or hospital/surgicenter will let the patient know the specific details regarding what time to stop eating and drinking. This includes even water, candy, or chewing gum. Smokers should make every effort to stop smoking, or at least reduce the number of cigarettes as much in advance of surgery as possible. This will help to reduce postoperative coughing and bleeding.

If a person is sick or has a fever the day before surgery, they should inform the surgeon. If a patient wakes up sick the day of surgery, still proceed to the surgical facility as planned. The surgeon and the anesthesiologist will decide if it is safe to proceed with surgery.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/29/2016

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