Sinus surgery is performed to relieve chronic sinus sufferers of continued stuffiness and pain from blocked and infected sinus passages and cavities.
Diseased sinus tissue is removed and better drainage channels are created to allow the sinuses to drain more effectively.
This procedure is usually performed using an endoscope, which is a medical instrument with a tiny camera. This magnifies an image onto a television screen and allows the surgeon to see the affected area and perform the operation without the need for large incisions.
Endoscopy results in less swelling, discomfort and bleeding, and a faster recovery for the patient.
The doctor will give you pre-operative instructions to follow, which you must adhere to. There are some restrictions on certain medications which you should understand.
If the doctor gives you a prescription for pain relief after the surgery, have this made up beforehand.
You need to abstain from food and drink for six hours before surgery to avoid anesthetic complications, and smokers should try to quit, or at least cut down, before the surgery to restrict bleeding.
With an endoscopy, you will probably not have to stay in hospital overnight. You should arrange for someone to pick you up after your surgery and stay with you on that first night, as you might be feeling a little unwell.
Allow for the whole procedure to take several hours, as you need to be monitored in the recovery room until the anesthetic has worn off.
For sinus surgery to be successful, you will need to follow the doctor’s instructions for post-operative care very carefully. This is considered just as important as the actual procedure. When you first arrive home, go to bed and rest.
Elevate your head on several pillows to help reduce bruising and swelling. However, you can expect some swelling of your nose, lips, eyes and cheeks for a few days.
Use ice to help keep the swelling down for the first few days after surgery. A bag of frozen peas works really well, as you can make it confirm to the shape of your face and so be more effective.
Expect some bleeding, particularly in the first 24 to 36 hours after surgery; you may need to change the dressing every hour or so in this time. Avoid hot drinks in this time, and eat light, soft, cool food in small servings until you get over the anesthetic.
Continue to get lots of rest to aid your recovery. You will have antibiotics to take, and as these can interfere with your digestion, make yogurt part of your diet because it helps to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut.
Take all medication that is prescribed for you, and take the full course. After your first post-operative doctor’s visit, you will need to do nasal irrigation, using a saline solution, several times a day. This is most important and failure to use nasal irrigation could well lead to the failure of the whole operation.