Post-Operative Instructions For Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

A scant amount of nasal bleeding is normal following surgery. Blood-tinged drainage is expected and should not be cause for alarm. You may wish to keep a small piece of gauze taped beneath your nose to collect drainage for the first 24 hours following surgery.

  • Do not expect to breathe well through your nose immediately following surgery. There is swelling of the nasal membranes and narrowing of the air passages in the first few hours following surgery which sometimes persists for several days or longer.

  • Pain is usually minimal following surgery. The pain medication prescribed for you should relieve most discomfort. You may experience a feeling of pressure or fullness, especially when bending forward. Sleeping with your head elevated on a couple of pillows will minimize the congestion in the sinus region.

  • You may resume blowing your nose gently two days after surgery. If you have to sneeze, open your mouth!

  • Use the Ocean® nasal spray every 2 to 3 hours after surgery. Also use Afrin® nasal spray every 8 hours for 3 days (no more, no less) following surgery. These two sprays are important in your post-operative care because they help keep the sinus passages open and moist.

  • Take the antibiotic that was prescribed before your surgery. Resume any other medication that you use regularly.

  • A soft diet is advisable the night following surgery. The following day you should be able to resume a regular diet.

  • You may shower, bathe, or wash your hair at any time after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity for two weeks following surgery. You may swim, but avoid putting your head under water. Most patients are able to return to work within a week if their occupation does not require vigorous physical activity. An additional week's absence from work may be necessary if your job is physically demanding.

  • Please notify the office immediately if any of the following should occur:
    A.  High fever (above 102° F.)
    B.  Excessive drowsiness or confusion
    C.  Visual disturbance
    D.  Profuse drainage of water or fluid from the nose
    E.  Uncontrollable bleeding from the nose