Post-Operative Information: What to Expect after Surgery

Post-op Septal and Sinus Surgery

The degree of disease and the extent of surgery will determine whether you will be able to go home the same day as surgery, or whether you will need to stay overnight.

In a high proportion of cases only dissolvable dressings will need to be applied inside the nose. Rarely sponges need to inserted that are removed the following day.

In addition for cases where total reconstruction of the nasal septum is required, silastic (or thin plastic sheets) are placed into the nasal cavity and removed approximately 1 week later.

In general terms, gentle mobilisation is encouraged the same day as surgery. It is important to avoid bending over and straining, as well as vigorous exercise, as this can increase the risk of bleeding.

You should expect some minor ooze from the nose for the first few days, and it is advisable to walk around with a pocket full of tissues.

While there is usually some mild discomfort, the main sensation is that of a congested nose, or of a head cold for a couple of weeks. By about 4 weeks, a major part of the healing process has occurred, although return of complete function to the nasal cavity and sinuses can take up to 3 months.

The most important thing for you to do is to use a salt water wash in large volumes at least 2-3 times a day. The most effective method is outlined below:

Sinus Rinse/Sinus Cleanse/FLO Bottle

These kits can be purchased from the chemist, but are usually supplied following surgery. Each kit comes with sachets of a saline mixture that should be mixed with luke warm water. Alternatively you can refil the bottle using the following recipe:

Recipe

1 Litre of Water

3 teaspoons of salt (rock)

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Frequency

Half a bottle each nostril 3 times a day

Alternatively you can use a pump action sprayer, using the same recipe, but you need to use 8-10 sprays each nostril 3 times a day,

In addition you will need to take oral antibiotics for 1 week, and use a nasal decongestant spray (drixene, otrivin), 3 sprays each nostril, 3 times a day, for 3 days. This also helps reduce post-operative bleeding.

If you have any questions or problems please call us on 93805380.  If it is after hours the best number to call is 83821111, which is St Vincent’s Public Hospital and ask to speak to the ENT registrar. If it is urgent call my mobile phone.

In an emergency situation please make your way to the closest major hospital