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Anyone here ever have sinus surgery?

lalalalalala Posts: 686
I am scheduled for surgery next Thursday (the 18th) and will be out from work for 2 weeks. As a teacher, it's perfectly coinciding with the end of the year. So, I will get even longer to recover, as needed.

My sister is the one with tons of hospital experience. The only experience I have is giving birth to my 6 year old.

Anyone else go through this? Any suggestions of things to have around for recovery? It sounds like I'll be up and moving to try to feel normal faster. I have a feeling I'll be on the forum a lot, living vicariously through others!


  • bunnygirlbrembunnygirlbrem Posts: 401
    One of my best friends dad. She had black eyes and nose for a couple weeks!
  • HeatheryHeathery Posts: 1,251
    edited May 10
    I have had four procedures done (under one sinus surgery). I've had a polypectomy, septoplasty, my nasal canal cut larger/open for better drainage, and a cell mast in my nostril removed. It was fairly recent--2013--so I remember it well. Is there anything specifically you have a question about? I'll give an outline, but feel free to ask me anything more specific.

    The procedure was outpatient with general anesthesia. I was unconscious for 4 hours. I was back home by 2:00pm.

    I had the surgery on Monday and was back at work on Friday. I ran a bit of a fever the first day of recovery, but it wasn't horrible. There was no bruising, just a teensy amount of swelling around my eyes. My nose bled for the first 12-18 hours, but I was able to remove the bandage taped across my face after that. Doing the nasal rinses 2-3 times per day was honestly the thing that terrified me the most, but it ended up being what I loved to do because it felt relieving. The blood would dry up in the nose and feel tight/painful, and doing the rinses got it out and relieved some of the pressure. Just make sure you do it over a bathtub because the amount of blood the first few times is shocking lol.

    There was some discomfort, of course, but it was mostly gone by the 3rd day unless I actually touched my nose. My cat jumped on my face the day after and I nearly threw up lol. But to be honest, I've had period cramps that felt worse. Totally tolerable with pain medication.

    I did not have packing, thank God. I had stints instead. I didn't really notice them while they were in for 2 weeks, but there was a noticeable improvement once they were gone. So kind of a "woah ok" moment. Pulling them out was fairly painful, I won't lie, but it only lasted a few seconds.

    Then just post-op visits to the ENT for the next year-ish to make sure everything is healing ok and no recurrence. (I have invasive fungal sinusitis which technically has no cure, so there's always a chance of recurrence. This may not apply to your situation.) If you get put on a nasal spray, which I'd be surprised if you didn't, you might ask about Qnasl. It's honestly amazing. It's prescription only.
  • HeatheryHeathery Posts: 1,251
    Also, the biggest pain for me was trying to sleep. You can't lay your head down for the first few days. This may not be a problem for you, but it is nearly impossible for me to sleep in a sitting/leaning position. I'm used to sleeping on my stomach with a very flat pillow, so that was torture lol.
  • Sm3456Sm3456 Posts: 23
    I've had two - both with accompanying septoplasties for deviated septums. The first was as a child and I bounced back quick (though the packing removal was not fun). The second was in my 20s and it was harder - it took me a good 1.5-2 weeks to be close to normal (and touching my nose for a few months was incredibly painful). The packing removal the second time was better (it's not fun and you wonder how that fit up there but by the time the take it out I wanted it out so helps).

    That being said, I am a huge proponent for the surgery - I begged for it the second time because it was night and day difference for me both times - constant headaches gone, sense of smell back, not always sick, etc. It's totally worth it but do plan to take it easy for a while. Feel free to message me with any questions!
  • BestAuntEverBestAuntEver Posts: 1,297
    @lalala I had it and was out of work for a month. Worst pain I ever felt and nothing improved. My nasal passages were too small and narrow to make any difference so it was all for naught.

    Feel free to PM if you like.
  • HeatheryHeathery Posts: 1,251
    This thread is proof that a good surgeon can make a lot of difference lol. My surgeon is known for being one of the best in the state, and it's literally the only type of work he does. I think a surgeon whose specialty is sinus surgery can really help in regards to being a gentle hand and lessening the discomfort you'll feel after the fact. Of course, personal pain tolerance will play a role too. :)
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    I thank you all for your replies!

    @bunnygirlbrem I do worry I'll be black and blue - that's why I'm thankful for not going right back to work.

    @BestAuntEver I hope it doesn't turn out like that. I have a deviated septum which is blocking off my right sinus, along with an overgrown/enlarged turbinate on that side. So those will be fixed, but I also have almost no sinus opening on that side, so I hope it helps enough.

    @Sm3456 I don't know if I'm getting packing or stints. I can't remember since my consult was in DECEMBER...and I'm finally getting surgery in May.

    @Heathery Thank you so much for your indepth sharing. I appreciate it. I have many people who can say they had it done (friends and coworkers). I sincerely hope that I can sleep ok. I actually fall asleep on the couch most nights, and we have 2 reclining sides. So I can do that for maybe 3 nights before my body yearns for my bed.

    I have the most anxiety about the stints (or packing). I have heard from a coworker she hated them and they were terrible. My husband isn't working during my first week, so he's around to help me, get me out and about around the neighborhood, and just make me feel more normal.

    I appreciate your hint about doing the nasal rinses. I may get in the bathtub, but I'm experienced in using the neti pot. I got sick while I was pregnant (way back in 2010) and that's when I started doing it. I had to because I couldn't get relief. But part of me figuring out something was wrong was that the neti pot struggled to work sometimes.

    I will keep your nasal spray in mind. I will have to ask about that.

    Now...if you're still reading :) ...
    -how much will I be icing my face? I was thinking of getting frozen peas like I did back when I had my wisdom teeth out in high school.
    -how soon could you eat normally? I need to make sure I get food. My husband is competent in the kitchen, but limited in his abilities to make things I truly love...

  • SJPSJP Posts: 1,694
    I had very similar surgical procedures done as @Heathery but my results were far, far worse. It took me well over a month to recover & the pain was just awful! But, I do have a chronic (terrible) pain condition & a slightly compromised immune system, so my results should be taken as what happened specifically to me. My surgeon was great & really gentle with me during every visit because they were all excruciating, too. (So, again, I have lots of other physical issues that complicate everything.)

    A good friend of mine had it & was basically perfectly fine immediately. He had almost no pain & was back to doing normal things within a day.
  • bunnygirlbrembunnygirlbrem Posts: 401
    To add to what a couple said, my friend did have really gross bleeding issues for a few days, but she hasn't been sick since and was so glad to have had it done!
  • HeatheryHeathery Posts: 1,251

    I didn't have to ice my face at all. The pain medications prescribed to me kept my pain at a tolerable level. Again though, personal pain tolerance levels will play a role, so your mileage may vary.

    As for food, I kind of prepared in advance on Sunday before my surgery. I made a big crock pot of rather bland noodle soup. The blandness was good because you won't want anything spicy. The soup lasted me until Wednesday night which was perfect. I actually went to a Thai restaurant with my mom on Thursday and was able to eat without issue by that point.

    As for the stints vs packing, the packing is much more undesirable. This is why my surgeon doesn't do packing. If you get stints, I wouldn't worry about it at all. Like I mentioned earlier, I honestly didn't even notice my stints while they were in. There was some pain for a few seconds when they were removed, but that's it.

    I had 100% blockage in my right nostril and 75% in my left nostril, so I was unable to breathe with my mouth closed. Even 12 hours post surgery, I was able to start breathing through my nose. Completely worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    @Heathery I hope mine works out that well!!! I have had sinus pain for years, so not a new concept, but hopefully the pain pills help manage my pain at first. I have had other experiences people think are painful and I survived them, so I think I'll survive this. :) I will definitely follow up after the fact.
  • Sm3456Sm3456 Posts: 23
    I also didn't need to ice my face - I think the pain caused by an ice pack's weight in my face would have been worse than the ice's benefit! I took the prescription pain meds for about 4-5 days before ramping off so do fill those prescriptions (for reference, I didn't fill those after the birth of my last kid).
  • BestAuntEverBestAuntEver Posts: 1,297
    @lalala Oh, dear - bless your heart. My complication was that I simply didn't have make a difference. I got bad sinus infections 4-5x a year and still do. So, I can totally relate to the PITA that you deal with now.

    I do wish you much luck and a speedy recovery. We will all be thinking of you and sending virtual hugs. <3
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    @BestAuntEver Thank you so much. I have fought with all sorts of issues, but believed it to be my allergies. Come to find out, if this is fixed, I can probably use my allergy nasal spray and not need something like allergy shots. It would be nice to not have sinus infections, as well...

    @Sm3456 I didn't think about ice causing discomfort! Oh boy...too much to think about.

    @Heathery I have decided on a meal I'm going to make that makes leftovers to eat whenever I need to. I also have breakfast burritos I freeze and use when I need them. I will be craving tasty food fast, so I can send the family for sushi or go with them if I don't look hideous! ;)
  • SJPSJP Posts: 1,694
    It really should be no problem for you @lalala . :) I'm sure you'll be fine & the results will be great!! (I'm an absolute anomaly so my issues will not be your issues.)
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    6:50am is my surgery time tomorrow.
    Thankfully today I'm still at work (I'm a music teacher).
    I have my sub plans together...
    Tonight I'm staying busy by going to dinner.
    Trying not to think too much. My brain tends to think about everything too much!
  • HeatheryHeathery Posts: 1,251
    @lalala You got this! :blush:
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
  • MariaNGMariaNG Posts: 1,286
    All the best @lalala! sending good thoughts your way for tomorrow!
  • SJPSJP Posts: 1,694
    I'm with @Heathery , you got this @lalala !! :)
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    I did it...I'm home, sitting on the couch (Been here for hours). The nurses were fantastic, and appreciated my very happy and positive attitude.

    I'm still trying to get the nose to stop with my gauze.
    The pain is tolerable. I'm taking my pills for now, of course.
    My husband is being very helpful. :)
  • HeatheryHeathery Posts: 1,251
    Yayyy glad to hear it! The bleeding should stop by tomorrow morning and you can get rid of the gauze. :)
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    @Heathery I hope so. I realized it corresponded with my activity level. I had to chill on the couch to get it to calm back the way it was before I was discharged.
  • MariaNGMariaNG Posts: 1,286
    Thanks for letting us know you're home @lalala! Now you just need to stay where you are reading the forum and relaxing!
  • RRZRRZ Posts: 48
    I had sinus surgery for deviated septum from breaking my nose as a child with over grown turbinates in both sides (only had 25% airflow total). While it was painful and I felt like crap in recovery the rainbow on the otherside was completly worth it. I could really breathe for the first time in years, it made exercise so much easy, and best of all - No more migraines and my allergies now do not completly shut me down for weeks at a time.

    @lalala I hope you feel better soon and know that it is going to be awesome after you recover.
  • SJPSJP Posts: 1,694
    I'm so glad to that you checked in to let us know how you're doing @lalala ! It sounds like everything went very well!
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    @RRZ Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Similar situation here. I hope it is all better when I can breathe again. Today my nose is completely stuffed and I was warned about that. But I didn't expect the dry mouth from mouth breathing, and not being able to sleep much because of it. I hope that things improve in the next few days so I can try out this improved nose and SLEEP.

    Thank you ladies for all your support! I am so happy I found the forum when I did.
  • SJPSJP Posts: 1,694
    @lalala Try a humidifier in the room where you're sleeping. It might help a bit with the dry mouth & help you get more sleep. Good luck!
  • lalalalalala Posts: 686
    @SJP I actually have a humidifier going. Last night my husband set it up for me.
    But I appreciate you thinking of it. Any other suggestions? :)
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