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.

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When should I notify the doctor of any postsurgery complications?

  • A sudden increase in the amount of bleeding from the nose unrelieved by pressure, ice, and head elevation.
  • A fever greater than 101.5 F (38.6 C) that persists despite increasing the amount of fluid intake and acetaminophen (Tylenol) use.
  • Persistent sharp pain or headache which is not relieved by the prescribed pain medication.
  • Increased swelling or redness of the nose or eyes.
  • Drainage of a thin, clear fluid in large quantities from usually only one side of the nose. This would be different from the clear, thicker mucus drainage normally produced by the nose.

Self-Care and prevention after sinus surgery

It is important for all patients with chronic sinus disease to understand that they have a chronic illness. Successful sinus surgery will only help control the complications and discomfort of chronic sinus disease. The following three areas of prevention should always be remembered:

  1. Maximize Moisture. Patients should always remember to maximize moisture in their nose. Keeping sinuses moist makes mucus thinner, allowing the sinuses to drain better. This drainage in turn helps prevent infection. Use a humidifier, drink plenty of water, avoid drying substances such as alcohol and caffeine, try to avoid smoke which dries out sinus linings, and use plenty of saline irrigation.
  2. Avoid Allergy Particles (Allergens). People may want to wear a mask when they clean or are exposed to dust. Sit in the non-smoking sections of restaurants. Avoid exposure to pollens during peak season, and keep an air-conditioner on during allergy season.
  3. Prevent Colds. Avoid exposure to colds and flu whenever possible; obtain a yearly flu vaccination.

Medically reviewed by Peter O’Connor, MD; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine

REFERENCE:

Welch KC, Stankiewicz JA. A contemporary review of endoscopic sinus surgery: techniques, tools, and outcomes. Laryngoscope. 2009 Nov;119 (11):2258-68.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/29/2016
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