Sinus Surgery Post-Operative Instructions
Post operative swelling may make breathing out of your nose difficult for up to a week. A humidifier or vaporizer should be used during this time in the bedroom to prevent throat discomfort with mouth-breathing.
Frequent hot showers and breathing in steam from a pot of boiling water will help break up congestion and clear any clot or mucus that builds up within the sinuses after surgery. You may also clean the front of the nose and nostrils with a Q-tip dipped in hydrogen peroxide or warm soapy water.
Change the mustache drip pad dressing as often as needed. Some oozing of blood and mucus is expected for 2-3 days after surgery, and the dressing may need to be changed frequently during the first 24 hours following surgery. In case of profuse nasal bleeding, spray 4 good puffs of Afrin or similar nasal decongestant spray into the side that is bleeding, apply ice to the bridge of the nose and pinch the nose just above the tip and hold for 10 minutes; if bleeding continues, contact Dr. Takashima through the office or answering service.
Do not blow your nose until cleared to do so.
Take pain medication as prescribed. It is OK to substitute Tylenol if the pain medication is too strong or causes nausea. It is important to stay well hydrated after surgery. Constipation is a common side effect of narcotic pain medications. Take a mild laxative. Avoid straining with bowel movements.
Sleep with an extra pillow or two, elevating your head slightly. You do not need to sleep sitting up in a chair.
Obtain all medications and nasal sprays prescribed and use as directed. Antibiotics are used in the initial post-op period to prevent infection while the nose is healing. Start nasal saline sinus irrigations (wash) the next day after surgery. Use something similar to this. Irrigate half the bottle on one side and the other half on the other side. Do this 4 times a day.
Take all of your routine medications as prescribed, unless told otherwise by Dr. Takashima; any medications which thin the blood should be avoided. These include aspirin and aspirin-like products (Advil, Motrin, Excedrin, Alleve, Celebrex, Naproxyn).
There are no diet restrictions, but alcohol consumption is not recommended and tobacco use is prohibited as Nicotine decreases blood flow to the healing nasal tissues and can actually compromise wound healing.
No heavy lifting (nothing more than 10 lbs), no bending or stooping to lift, and no vigorous exercise until cleared by Dr. Takashima.
No airplane travel for 2 weeks following surgery; the cabin pressure changes can cause pain and swelling within the sinuses. We also want to make sure that you do not get a nose bleed on the airplane.
Sense of smell will be diminished during the healing time, and sense of taste will also be affected. You may express old clot and discolored mucus from your nose for up to 3-4 weeks after surgery, depending on how frequently and how effectively you irrigate your nose with the nasal saline wash.
Signs of a post-operative infection, which may occur within the 6 weeks after surgery, include fever, foul odor in the nose, discolored nasal secretions, facial pain and pressure, and a cough. If any of these signs develop, contact Dr. Takashima to discuss treatment.
Patients are seen back in the office approximately one week post operatively. Nasal debridement/cleaning is performed at this post-op visit to accelerate the healing process of your nose and sinuses and in order to get you breathing better faster.