What Precautions will I Need to Take After Sinus Surgery?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Regardless of your reason for sinus surgery, you will need to follow certain post-surgical instructions afterward. One of the first details to remember after sinus surgery is to avoid blowing your nose, using alternative treatments like saline solution instead. You should also elevate your head when possible to help decrease headaches and swelling. Additionally, make sure that you take the medications prescribed to you while staying away from aspirin, which could interfere with recovery.

You may experience some symptoms of a sinus infection or cold after sinus surgery, but rest assured that this is a normal reaction during the recovery period. Unfortunately, you will need to resist the urge to blow your nose to relieve the symptoms, as this action could cause bleeding. In fact, you should avoid straining in any way after sinus surgery, which means that lifting heavy items or exercising is not suggested. You can try to combat cold symptoms by flooding the nostrils with saline solution, or at least occasionally spraying the nose with this substance to keep it from becoming too dry.


Another precaution that is recommended after sinus surgery is elevation of the head to help avoid both swelling near the nose and headaches caused from pressure in the area. You should rest your head on several pillows the first few nights home after the surgery, whether you are sleeping or just relaxing. You can also rest in a recliner instead of lying flat on a bed, as this kind of furniture can help you comfortably keep your head elevated. If you do notice swelling near your nose and eyes in spite of your efforts, you can apply an ice pack to the area. You should notice a reduction in swelling and headaches after the first week of recovery, at which point you typically no longer need to elevate your head.

You might be tempted to take pain relievers, such as aspirin, but this is one medication that you should avoid. It tends to slow down the clotting of the blood, leading to excessive bleeding during the recovery process. Your doctor should prescribe painkillers that are safe for you to take after sinus surgery, though of course you should not drive after taking narcotic painkillers. If you prefer another type of medication to relieve the pain, you should let your doctor know. You will also likely be prescribed antibiotics after sinus surgery, in which case you should finish the bottle to prevent infection unless your doctor tells you otherwise.


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Post 3

Avoiding blowing the nose after sinus surgery is good advice. I blew my nose two days after surgery and caused severe bleeding. There was apparently a large scab in my sinuses post surgery and it came off when I blew my nose. I bled so much that I had to have an emergency operation to cauterize it.

Post 2

@burcidi-- You don't need to do anything other than follow your doctor's post surgery instructions.

Most doctors will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection during sinus surgery recovery. If you are not given antibiotics, just keep an eye out for infection symptoms such as fever. A foul smell in the nose can also be a sign of infection.

You will also be told to flush out your nose regularly to keep the sinuses clean and free of bacteria. So don't neglect to do that, just follow what your doctor says.

Post 1

I've heard that an infection can happen soon after a sinus surgery. I'm due to have surgery in two weeks. Do I need to do anything to avoid infection?

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