Once you have undergone sinus surgery, you might be having a lot of questions running through your mind, like What is the Sinus surgery post operative care? What to expect after sinus surgery? Is sinus surgery painful? How to sleep after sinus surgery? and What are the post sinus surgery care you need to follow? Here in this article let us begin by understanding what are the Pre and Post Sinus Surgery Instructions, if your sinus doctor recommended you a sinus surgery.
You will be shifted to an operating room for performing the surgery. Nose and sinus surgeries are usually done under general anaesthesia, so you will be asleep during the entire surgery procedure. Sometimes in patients who are unfit for general anaesthesia because of their medical conditions the surgery may be done under local anaesthesia. Under local anesthesia you are partially awake and your nose will be numb to pain and touch when the surgery is performed.
Nose and sinus surgery lasts anywhere between one to three hours based on the kind of procedure that is being done for you. After your surgery you will be transferred to the step down unit for the first four to six hours when you may be feeling groggy or drowsy. Your vitals, i.e., pulse rate, blood pressure and your oxygenation levels will be monitored in the step down unit. Your friends and family members will be allowed to have a short visit to check on you in the step down unit after six hours once your surgery is completed.
You will be allowed to have clear fluids and some light food and you will be shifted to the in-patient room where you will be resting along with your family and friends. Your nose will be blocked and you will feel nasal congestion. It is important that you do not blow your nose or pull back your nose because both these activities will not help you breathe better and will also cause severe nose bleeding. In most of the institutions all over India and the world once the nose surgery is completed the nose is packed. Once the nose is packed you cannot breathe through the nose and you will have to breathe through the mouth. Although it is a little uncomfortable it is not intolerable.
In my hospital where I operate on a regular basis we do not pack the nose and even in cases where we have to pack the nose we use balloons in place of regular nose packs. These are much more comfortable than regular nose packs but they are little expensive. You will have blood stained nasal discharge coming from the front of your nose. We will place a small mustache dressing to soak up this natural discharge. Similarly blood stained nasal discharge can keep dripping from the back of the nose into throat and when you spit out you may see some blood stains in the sputum. This is much more in the first 48 hours and will heal slowly after that.
After your nose and sinus surgery you will be sleeping with your head elevated a little up so that is your head will be at a little upper position than your legs. This is to reduce the pressure on your head. You will be discharged usually about 8 to 18 hours after your surgical procedure.
When you will get discharged
It depends upon the kind of surgical procedure you have undergone and also it varies from one surgical center to another. When you are discharged your operating surgeon or his team will visit you and give fitness for discharge. Somebody has to drive you from the hospital to your home after you are discharged.
Sinus surgery post operative care
- You will be prescribed some medications like antibiotics, painkillers, nasal washes, and nasal sprays. All these medications should be mentioned in your discharge summary. The schedule you have to follow also will be mentioned. You have to follow these medications as per the schedule given by your operating surgeon. 24 hours after you’re discharged you can resume your daily activities.
- You resume your office work, you can do your desk work and also household chores. It is advisable to not bend down as much as possible. There are no food restrictions, you can consume all kinds of food which are cooked at home. You shouldn’t have anything too hot or too cold.
- If you have noticed that you are allergic to certain kinds of foods before the surgery you shouldn’t have such kinds of foods after the surgery.
- You can have your regular baths, you can clean your nose without putting too much pressure on it. The only restriction you have to follow is you should not allow water to enter your nose. You have to consume plenty of fluids, that is plenty of water.
- Water not only thins down the mucus in the nose and makes you feel more comfortable but also helps in faster healing. You can sleep in your regular position. Make sure that you don’t put much pressure on your nose. You should sleep with your head a little elevated when compared to your legs, this will reduce pressure in the head and make it much more comfortable for you. If you get a sneeze or a cough, it is advisable to open the mouth and then produce sneezing or coughing.
- If you are a diabetic, hypertensive, or hypothyroid patient, you can take your daily medications as usual, as used to follow before surgery.
- You should not blow your nose. You will experience a nose block but you should not blow your nose or keep sniffing back. Both these actions will not help relieve your nose block but will cause severe nose bleeding.
- You should not put your finger in your nose and you should not do nose speaking. The inside of the nose is very sacred, and especially after surgery is very sensitive. It not only will hamper the healing, but it can also cause nose bleeding.
- Avoid strenuous activities like doing cardio or weight training, for at least one month after the nose and sinus surgery. You should also avoid flying, and swimming, for atleast 20 days after the nose and sinus surgery.
- High-pressure activities like scuba diving should be avoided at least for one month after your nose and sinus surgery. If you are a cardiac patient who takes blood thinners like Clopidogrel or Aspirin, you should get clearance from an anaesthesiologist or your regular doctor before starting this medication.
- If you are experiencing constipation please call your operating surgeon, please do not strain, he may advise some stool softeners for you. It is also advisable that you do not consume any alcohol or get back to your habit of smoking after surgery. This is to be avoided at least for one month after your nose and sinus surgery.
When to Call Your Doctor
- If you are experiencing a fever of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you have altered vision that is blurred vision or double vision.
- If you have severe pain in the head and the nose region, and you’re not getting good relief with the pain medications you’re normally using.
- If you have uncontrollable bleeding from the front of the nose or the back of the nose, you have to call your operating surgeon or his team immediately.
10 days after your nose and sinus surgery we will perform an Endoscopy and Nose Cleaning. This is usually done in the operating theatre. Your nose will be numb to pain and touch, and we will remove the crust in the scar tissue during this endoscopy nose cleaning.
The procedure lasts anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes and you will be discharged within a few hours after your procedure. You will have to come for review visits on the 20th day and the 40th day after your nose and sinus surgery. During these visits, we will be examining your nose and sinus and if necessary we will perform the endoscopy nose cleaning again. We will be also writing some medications for you, which you will have to regularly follow.
Please remember that there may be slight variations from one surgical center to another and your operating surgeon is the best person to let you know what to do and what not to do.
- You’ll be prescribed some medications like antibiotics, painkillers, nasal washes, nasal sprays, all these medications should be clearly mentioned in your discharge summary.
- You can do your office work, you can do your desk work, you can do household chores. The only thing is it is advisable not to bend down as much as possible.
- There are no food restrictions, you can consume all kinds of food, which are cooked at home.
- If you have noticed that you’re allergic to certain kinds of foods before the surgery it is advisable that you do not have such kinds of foods after the surgery.
- You can have your regular bathing, you can clean your nose without putting much pressure on it. The only restriction you have to follow is you should not allow the water to enter your nose.
A common question that patients have is how to sleep after sinus surgery? This is because improper sleeping may result in nose bleeding and inconvenience during sleep.
You’ll be sleeping with your head elevated a little up, that is your head will be at a little upper position than your legs. This is to reduce the pressure on your head.
If you have uncontrollable bleeding from the front of the nose or the back of the nose, you have to call your operating surgeon or his team immediately.
You will have to come for review visits on the 20th day, and the 40th day, after your nose and sinus surgery.