Please review the general preoperative instructions. For the first week after surgery, you are encouraged to rest. Do not participate in any strenuous activity which may raise your blood pressure or heart rate. This includes going to work if your job requires physical exertion. Expect to miss a few days of work after your surgery. Do not sit on the couch or in bed all day, get up and walk around as this will help prevent complications. When to resume normal activities can be discussed during your post-operative visits. In the meantime, resume all of your routine medications prescribed by your physicians with the exception of aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve or any other blood thinning medications such as plavix and/or coumadin (warfarin).
After nasal surgery, you will have a small gauze dressing underneath your nostrils. Prior to your discharge, the nurses may give you some extra supplies to take home. Change the dressing underneath your nose if it becomes saturated with drainage. It is normal to have some bloody drainage onto the dressing that requires you to change the gauze every few hours. A brisk bleed or a steady stream of bloody drainage, however, should be reported to your doctor.
Do not blow your nose for a week after surgery. Your doctor will let you know during the postoperative visit if you may blow your nose. Nose blowing may cause bleeding and/or disrupt healing. If you have had sinus surgery, blowing your nose may cause air to puff out the skin around your eye and be extremely uncomfortable. If you have the urge to sneeze, do not hold it in as this can cause the same results.
You may experience some nausea for the first day after the surgery. Time and fluids help to alleviate the side effects of anesthesia. The nurses will help you to determine when and what you should first eat. You will usually begin with clear fluids and advance to solids as tolerated.
Some moderate pain is to be expected. The nurse may give you pain medication prior to your discharge from the recovery room. The doctor has also given you a prescription for pain medication. Always take pain medication with or after food. Do not take any pain medications except for the prescription you were given or plain Tylenol. (All other over the counter pain medications increase the risk of bleeding after surgery).
The surgery will cause swelling of the tissues inside your nose. As a result, it is normal to feel stuffy and congested. Do not take Sudafed or other decongestants as they will likely not relieve your symptoms and may increase your blood pressure. Also do not use any nasal sprays until instructed to do so by your doctor. Usually these will not be started until after your first post-op visit.
Use ice packs as tolerated over the bridge of your nose the first day or two after surgery. Also, sleep with your head slightly elevated for the first few nights. You may use two or more pillows. Following these recommendations will help prevent some of the swelling and stuffiness as well as help your body stop any bleeding.
Some large crusts will develop within your nose. It is very important not to pick those or try to remove those crusts yourself. It is also very important to keep the inside of your nose as moist as possible during the post operative period as this will help the raw surfaces heal faster. You should irrigate both nostrils at least three to four times a day with a Neil Med Sinus Rinse Kit, a Neti Pot, or other similar device. These can be bought over the counter in most pharmacies in the cold and allergy aisle.
Your postoperative appointment is usually 7-10 days after the surgery, and it has usually been made at the time of scheduling your surgery. The date and time is usually in the preoperative or postoperative packet sent to you by our surgery schedulers, but please call us at 310-423-1220 if you have forgotten your appointment time. It is imperative for the most successful outcome that you keep all of your postoperative appointments. Have someone drive you to your postoperative appointment so you can take pain medication prior to your appointment. Occasionally some uncomfortable work may need to be done to ensure proper healing, so we recommend taking one prescription pain medication before the first postoperative visit.