Sinus surgery

What to expect

  • Your nose will feel congested and there is often a feeling of pressure and possibly headaches as if you have a cold or sinus infection for the first week.
  • You will get some blood and mucus from the nose, particularly while the splints are in place – use a nasal bolster or tape a piece of gauze under the nose with micropore tape if needed rather than constantly wiping the nose.
  • For pain relief it is generally best to take regular paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen / nurofen, with stronger pain relief used when needed.
  • You may be provided with antibiotics and / or prednisone to take for the first week depending on the disease and extent of surgery.
  • Decongestant spray (e.g. Flo Rapid Relief) can be used if necessary to reduce bleeding. If there is excessive bleeding you can use 6-10 sprays if needed.
  • If you have excessive pain or bleeding, call your surgeon. 
  • Your front teeth &/or top lip may feel unusual - this is normal!
  • A sore throat is common and should settle once the splints are removed.
  • Your ears may pop or bubble when you swallow.
  • There will usually be silicone splints and sometimes sinus dressings inside the nose which are removed after 5-6 days in the clinic – if an appointment isn’t made for you from the hospital, please call my rooms to book in.

Nasal care

  • Keep the nose as clear as possible by using Flo Sinus Care.
  • The nasal wash is supposed to flow out of the other nostril, but it may not do this very well while the splints are in place – don’t force it and just let it drip out, the wash will flow through once the splints are out.
  • The wash should be used for 6 weeks after the surgery – three times a day for the first week, twice a day after the splints are removed, then once a day when there is no more blood or mucus coming out in the wash.

Activity and posture

  • During the first week, gentle exercise such as walking is fine but otherwise take it very easy.
  • Try and keep your head up as much as possible particularly if you are having bleeding, pain or pressure - sleeping propped up can help.
  • Avoid very hot showers or baths as this may trigger bleeding.
  • During the second week you should be feeling a lot better but should still avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise as you may trigger bleeding.
  • Most people with sedentary jobs will need a week off work, more physical jobs may need 2 weeks off.
  • Generally avoid blowing the nose while the splints are in place and use the sinus wash instead. Once the splints are out, blowing the nose is fine.