The recovery process after a sinus surgery is fairly easy, if you can learn to take it easy. Recovering from such a procedure will require you to rest and slow down a bit in order to promote healing. Though it may be difficult, the healing process for these types of surgeries is more passive than active, allowing for your nasal passages to unswell and heal in the proper position. While your doctor will give you the best and most direct advice on your specific recovery and healing process, here are a few general tips to consider after undergoing any one of the various sinus surgeries:
Most simple and more common nasal/sinus procedures take no longer than 45 minutes to an hour to complete. More complex procedures may take a few hours. Once the procedure is complete and you are cleared to return home, the healing process begins. You will likely be sent home with a dressing in the nose area, possibly with dressings inside the nose. Those dressings will need to be changed as directed by your doctor. Immediately after the procedure, your nasal passages may seem more open than usual, but they will usually close and remain blocked for a few weeks after surgery. Some discharge is normal, and regular saline cleanings are highly suggested. The healing process is usually not very painful, but you can take over-the-counter pain medication for any discomfort. You are usually released after a few weeks to return to school/work or any other daily activities.
The swelling around your nose area will last for a few weeks after surgery. This can include the nose, cheeks, upper lip, and around your eyes. An ice pack can be used to reduce the swelling in those areas for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Also, sitting with your head elevated will help reduce the swelling and also help you sleep better at night.
How to Sleep
After any surgery, finding a comfortable position to sleep in may be quite difficult. After nasal surgery, it is advised that you sleep with your head elevated. Do this by laying on your back and resting your head on 3-4 pillows. This will help reduce bleeding and speed up the reduction of swelling in the area. You may also want to try sleeping in a recliner. That will allow your head to remain elevated. Make sure your sleeping space is free of strong smells, smoke, and/or any other nasal irritants. Using a humidifier can help speed up the healing process as well, keeping your nasal passages moist. Lastly, you can apply a cold rag to your face to help reduce pain and swelling, repeating as needed.
How to Remain Comfortable
It may seem difficult to get comfortable even while awake after a nasal procedure. Keeping your head elevated throughout the day will help. Listen carefully to all of your doctor’s instructions for wound care. Change the bandages as often as required. Taking small walks will increase your body’s blood flow and draw out toxins from the surgical site, but do not engage in any strenuous activity, such as lifting, bending over, or working out. Be sure to remain hydrated, getting lots of rest and relaxation during this time to allow your body to heal naturally.
Nasal surgery can provide much needed relief from constant congestion, pain, and other ailments. The recovery, though not very painful, takes time and patience. As always, follow all of your doctor’s instructions for post-surgical care.