♦ WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
First, the topical anesthetics used during the procedure can numb the throat making it feel like you have something stuck in your throat, feel like it’s hard to swallow or talk, and sometimes change the sound of your voice. This usually goes away in 1-2 hours after the procedure. Popsicles and ice chips can help soothe the throat. Try not to clear your throat as this can cause or worsen an irritated throat.
Other symptoms reported after the procedure include the following list below. All of these things are normal after a procedure. Most of them last a day or two and some may be present for a few weeks, but usually resolve on their own.
- nasal drainage or runny nose
- facial pressure/pain
- sore throat
- pain, numbness, or sensitivity in the upper teeth
- numbness in the roof of the mouth
- temporary loss of smell or taste
- nasal congestion (see list of medications that can be taken in the post op medication section below )
- nausea and vomiting after taking the prescription pain medication. It is recommended that you eat something before taking these. An anti-nausea medication can be prescribed if necessary.
♦ HOW MUCH PAIN AM I GOING TO HAVE?
Everyone is different when it comes to discomfort after their procedure. We often ask our patients to rate the severity of their pain on a scale from 1-10 (one being no pain and 10 being the most excruciating pain) and majority of the answers are between a 1 and 3. Our patients have told us that they really don’t have pain, but more of a feeling of “pressure”. In fact, most of them reported that they did not need to take any prescription pain medication afterwards.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I EXPERIENCE ANY DISCOMFORT?
- Take over-the-counter Tylenol (acetaminophen) as directed on the bottle.
- If the Tylenol does not help with pain, take the prescription pain medication as directed.
- Apply a bag of frozen peas or a soft ice pack to the face as often as needed.
♦ WILL I HAVE BLEEDING AFTER THE PROCEDURE?
Yes. Unlike traditional sinus surgery, nasal packing is not placed in the nose after the procedure. Therefore, you will have oozing or bleeding. This can be minor bleeding that occurs off and on for several hours or you may experience a heavier flow that is considered an "active" nosebleed.
Dr. Sikand recommends using Afrin (or a generic equivalent) after the procedure. This is a decongestant nasal spray and is different from fluticasone or saline spray. Spray two sprays in each nostril 2-3 times from the time you get home until before bedtime. This will help slow down any “oozing” or bleeding.
FOR AN ACTIVE NOSEBLEED:
- Stay calm! Elevating the heart rate can make the bleeding worse.
- Apply pressure by pinching the nostrils until bleeding stops.
- Moisten a cotton ball with the Afrin solution (remove the tip from the bottle) and place the cotton ball in the nostril that is bleeding. Leave it in place for 15 minutes. Repeat as necessary until bleeding stops. You may have to do this several times.
- Placing a bag of frozen peas over the nose may help slow the bleeding.
♦ WILL I HAVE ANY RESTRICTIONS?
- We recommend that you relax for the remainder of the day after the procedure. If you feel fine the next day and not taking any prescription pain medication, you may resume your normal activities. If you feel tired or “run down”, take it easy for another few days until you feel better.
- DO NOT blow your nose for the rest of the day and for the following three days. You may sniff in, but no forceful nose blowing. This can cause a nosebleed or make bleeding worse.
- DO NOT take any NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for one week after the procedure. This includes over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxyn (Aleve). If you take a prescription blood-thinner, Dr. Sikand will give you instructions on when to re-start the medication before you leave the office.
♦ POST-OPERATIVE MEDICATIONS
- Antibiotic and oral steroids - If these were prescribed, continue them as directed until finished. If you have any side effects, please stop taking them and call the office for advice.
- Sinus Rinses (SinuMed, NeilMed, etc.) - Start the rinses the day after the procedure. Rinse 4-5 times a day for the first two weeks after the procedure. These irrigations are important because it helps flush out debris and keeps crusting or scabs from forming. If you had splints placed in the nose, you will start these after the splints are removed.
- If you were prescribed a medicated sinus rinse that is made by a compounding pharmacy, you will do those irrigations twice a day and the regular saline rinse twice a day for either two or four weeks.
- Afrin nasal spray: 2 sprays in each nostril 2-3 times between the time you get home and bedtime. This can be used 2-3 times a day for the first 3 days after the procedure to help with nasal congestion.
Medications for nasal congestion (this can be present for 10-21 days and is normal after sinus surgery)
- nasal sprays including Flonase (fluticasone), Nasacort, or Rhinocort (all of these are over-the-counter)
- azelastine or ipratropium bromide nasal sprays (prescription)
- allergy pills (over-the-counter antihistamines) such as Allegra, Zyrtec, or Claritin
- If you do not have high blood pressure, you can take Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)
- saline nasal spray (Ayr, Ocean) throughout the day as needed
- Mucinex and Mucinex-D
- If these things do not help and your nasal congestion is severe, call the triage department at (702) 792-6700.
♦ WHEN IS MY NEXT APPOINTMENT AFTER SURGERY?
Dr. Sikand will see you three weeks after your procedure. If nasal splints were placed in the nose, you will normally come back the following day to have them removed. Sometimes it is recommended that these stay in place for a few days longer if the nasal septal deviation was severe.
Insurance companies do not have a global period for some sinus procedures. Please note that you may have to pay your co-pays for a specialist office visit and nasal endoscopy.
For any questions or concerns about the post-operative information during normal business hours, call the triage department at (702) 792-6700 ext. 1105.