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Recovering from Sinus Surgery: What to Expect

Recovering from Sinus Surgery: What to Expect

You’ve spent years struggling to breathe thanks to sinus issues and are anxious to end the problem with sinus surgery. The road to breathing deeply and freely after sinus surgery requires a little patience on your part, but this patience will be rewarded.

To give you an idea about what to expect during your recovery from sinus surgery (or nasal surgery, for that matter), the team here at Advanced ENT & Allergy, including Dr. Timothy Queen and Nancy Gibson, FNP-C, offer the following information.

A word about timelines

Before we dive into your recovery from sinus surgery, we want to point out that timelines can vary greatly depending upon the type of surgery we perform. For example, recovering from a balloon sinuplasty will likely be a lot faster than recovering from functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).

So, the timeline we discuss here represents an average recovery time, which you can adjust to your specific circumstances.

Immediately after your sinus surgery

After we ensure that everything went well during your sinus surgery, we send you home with complete aftercare instructions.

These instructions include using sprays and rinses to help your sinuses heal and swapping out dressings to handle any nasal discharge.

Speaking of discharge, if you’ve undergone FESS, you might notice some blood mixed in, which is perfectly normal for the first 3-5 days after sinus surgery.

You may also experience discomfort, which you can address with over-the-counter or prescription medications if we’ve provided them.

You should try to keep your head upright as much as possible during the first week of recovery to encourage the free flow of the discharge — you should even sleep with your head slightly elevated.

The weeks following your sinus surgery

In addition to the discharge, you should expect some congestion during the first few weeks after your sinus surgery. This is a natural response by your body and nothing to be concerned about. We know you likely underwent sinus surgery to eliminate congestion and breathing issues, but you’ll have to be patient for a short while afterward.

As your sinuses heal, the congestion and discharge will lessen until you can breathe in deeply with little effort.

To help this process move along, it’s important that you continue with your sinus rinses during this time, which will help clear away discharge and minimize congestion.

Long-term recovery 

You should reach your final result within a few months after your sinus surgery. If we performed extensive work, it might take up to a year before your sinuses fully recover.

Rest assured, we’re with you every step of the way and will do what we can to speed up your recovery.

If you have more questions about recovering from sinus surgery, we invite you to contact our office in Newport News, Virginia, to schedule an appointment.

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