Sinus Surgery Recovery: What to Expect

If you suffer from sinusitis, it can have a significant negative impact on your life. Antibiotics and prescribed nasal sprays can give some relief, although it’s important not to misuse over the counter nasal sprays. In some cases, surgery may be required to prevent the symptoms of sinusitis from recurring. These symptoms can include nasal and facial pain, headaches, pressure, and diminished smell and taste. Sinus surgery in properly chosen patients can have a significant positive impact on a patient’s quality of life. Many patients want to know what to expect after sinus surgery has been carried out. Here are some details.


Post-Anesthetic Recovery

Standard endoscopic sinus surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). Patients waking from anesthetia may feel groggy for a bit, and they won’t be able to drive for 24 hours after surgery. For this reason, it’s essential that you have somebody who can drive you home after the operation has been carried out.

Pain and Bleeding after Surgery

One of the after effects of sinus surgery is mild to moderate pain, which is easily controlled by pain relief medication. Your surgeon will be able to prescribe the most suitable medication. This pain, which can take the form of a pressurized feeling in the sinuses, will usually dissipate over a few days. Mild discharge of blood can be expected for around 5-7 days after the operation. It is best not to blow your nose during the week after sinus surgery, but dab gently at the affected area with a tissue if necessary.

Swelling and Bruising

It is very uncommon for patients to have external swelling or bruising. In fact, in most patients, there is no outward sign of surgery. If patients do experience some facial swelling, carefully placed ice packs can be used. Most sinus surgeons do not use nasal packing or splints, but it is best to check with your surgeon, and packing and splints can contribute to pain, discomfort and swelling.


Some patients may experience fatigue after surgery under general anesthetic. While this fatigue is usually gone in a matter of days, sometimes, this feeling may last up to a week after sinus surgery. As with any surgery, sinus surgery has a brief recovery period. When properly managed, the recovery is usually done shortly, and then patients can enjoy the lifelong benefits of their procedure.