Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Post- Operative Instructions

For the next 24 hours:

A nasal drip pad is used to collect bleeding. You may change this 3-4 times an hour. Bleeding is expected, however progressive bleeding may require intervention. Contact physician if bleeding saturates more than 5 nasal drip pads per hour. Once the majority of bleeding has decreased, begin using oxymetazoline (Afrin nasal spray) 2 sprays each nostril 3 times a day for 3 days or until bleeding stops. Additionally, you may gently clean blood clots from the nasal opening with a q tip soaked in hydrogen peroxide, just to tease out blocking blood clots to help breathing.

Avoid blowing nose until cleared by physician.

Apply ice packs to the face as needed for comfort or to decrease swelling for a maximum of 10 minutes every hour.

Elevate head of bed 30°.

Arrange for a responsible adult to remain with you for 24 hours.

After bleeding has stopped:

Begin nasal saline irrigations twice daily until followup as instructed in the nasal irrigation instructions.

Expect copious old blood and crusted debris to discharge after irrigation. Use a comfortable pressure to irrigate, decrease for pain or if irrigation causes bright red bleeding.

Expect temporary tearing of the eyes and loss of smell after surgery as this is a normal side effect of the recovery process.


Begin with liquids and light foods, and slowly advanced to a regular diet as tolerated. Avoid greasy, spicy and fried foods. If nausea and vomiting occur, drink small amounts of clear liquids until resolved. You may then resume a normal diet. If symptoms progress, contact your physician.


Rest on the day of surgery, advance activity slowly as tolerated.

No heavy lifting or exercise for 2 weeks

Keep head of bed elevated at 30° for 3-5 days.

No nose blowing until cleared by physician.

If you sneezing cough, try to do so with an open-mouth to alleviate sinus pressure.


Once your prescription is filled, then take as directed. Do not drive while taking narcotic medications. Do not drink alcohol with narcotic medications. Take pain medication with food to avoid nausea. Consume plenty of water to avoid constipation. He may consider over-the-counter stool softeners.

Special instructions:

Do not drive or operate machinery

Do not consume alcohol

Avoid making critical legal decisions

Contact your physician for fever greater than 101°F, pain not relieved by medications, persistent nausea or vomiting, inability to urinate, or excessive bleeding.

Contact 911 for shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of vision, double vision or loss of consciousness.

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