What to Expect From Sinus Surgery

Sinus surgery aims to eliminate physical blockages in the sinus cavities and nasal passages and to enlarge the natural sinus openings. The surgeon removes diseased bone or mucosa, polyps or cysts, and rinses the open sinuses during the procedure. They may also take cultures.

A pathologist then examines the diseased tissue while the surgeon takes steps to minimize scarring and promote healing. By restoring natural ventilation patterns and drainage within the nose, surgery can reduce the frequency of sinus infections.

Modern sinus surgery, also known as Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), is typically performed through the nostrils using the following:

  • Narrow cylindrical scopes
  • Fiberoptic illumination
  • Magnification
  • Video displays
  • Specialized instruments for removing diseased tissue

This procedure is usually carried out under general anesthesia as an outpatient surgery.

Prior to the Procedure

Patients should discontinue using all topical decongestant sprays four to six weeks before sinus surgery. Additionally, before the surgery, patients must refrain from taking blood thinners for two weeks. This includes aspirin or aspirin-containing products such as the following:

  • Aggrenox
  • Ecotrin
  • Excedrin
  • Plavix
  • Coumadin
  • Warfarin

The following non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped at least one week before surgery:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Advil
  • Alleve
  • Naprosyn
  • Mobic
  • Celebrex

In the event of a respiratory illness, asthma flare-up, or consumption of food or drink on the morning of the procedure, surgery may need to be postponed or rescheduled.

Doctor media

Post Sinus Surgery Treatment

Surgery risks may include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Formation of scar tissue
  • Recurring sinusitis in the operated sinuses
  • Progression of sinusitis to other sinuses
  • Return of polyps

Rare risks involve the following:

  • Reactions to anesthesia
  • Spinal fluid leakage
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Injury to the eye socket resulting in pain or decreased vision

After sinus surgery in Houston, recovery typically involves the removal of nasal packing within a day or more. Expect a few days of bloody nasal drainage and post-nasal drip. Saltwater sprays and irrigations are used for at least two weeks. Regular follow-up appointments with our Houston ENT surgeons for endoscopic cleaning are essential for proper healing.

With 15 convenient locations across the greater Houston area, we’re never far away.

Find your ENT Schedule appointment
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (281) 897-0416.