Nasal Septal or Sinus Surgery

There will be a need for important postoperative office visits, at which time the nasal and sinus passages will be endoscopically examined and cleaned. If you are not aware of the date and time for your first appointment, please call our office, extension 117. After surgery, you may have some mild or moderate discomfort and bloody drainage from the nose for several days, which is normal. We also suggest: 

  1. If you were advised to use medicated saline rinses, you may start them 48 hours after surgery. Please continue them until instructed to stop by your surgeon.
  2. Avoid blowing your nose for 48 hours, and then only gently blow. When you sneeze, keep your mouth open to avoid building up air pressure in your sinuses.
  3. We recommend that you raise your head when sleeping with 2-3 pillows or a wedge pillow.
  4. For the first week after surgery, get plenty of bed rest and avoid heavy lifting or straining. Do not engage in any vigorous exercise for 7-10 days, then resume physical activities as tolerated.
  5. Change the gauze dressing under your nose as necessary and remove it when no longer needed.
  6. It may be difficult to breathe through your nose for several days after surgery because of swelling.
  7. Numbness of the upper front teeth is not uncommon and will typically resolve in several weeks.
  8. Bloody discharge and intermittent bleeding from the nose or down the throat is common for 48 hours. 

For pain relief, assuming that there are no medical reasons to avoid these medications, we recommend: 

  1. For the first 48 hours: 
    • Mild pain – 2 regular strength Tylenol (325 mg each) every 6 hours as needed. 
    • Moderate pain – 1 regular strength Tylenol and 1 prescribed pain pill every 6 hours. 
    • Severe or constantly distracting pain – 2 prescribed pain pills every 4-6 hours. 
    • Do not take Ibuprofen, Allieve, or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) during the first 48 hours after surgery.
  2. After 48 hours, discontinue the prescribed pain medication, if possible. Switch to: 
    • Mild pain – 2 Tylenol (325 mg each) and 2 over the counter Ibuprofen tablets (200 mg each) at the same time every 6 hours. 
    • Moderate pain – 2 regular strength Tylenol and 3 or 4 Ibuprofen (200 mg) at the same time every 6 hours. 
    • Severe pain – 1-2 prescribed pain pills and 3 or 4 Ibuprofen (200 mg) every 6 hours. 

Call us immediately if any of the following should occur: 

  • A fever above 102 degrees develops and does not respond to Tylenol and Ibuprofen 
  • A new rash is present 
  • There is constant and profuse bleeding from the nose for more than 30 minutes 
  • Double vision 
  • Visible swelling or bruising around the eye

In cases of emergency after normal business hours, call our office number and listen for the prompts to speak directly to the physician on call. If you instead leave a message after the beep, we will not get it until the following business day.