Recovery From Endoscopic Sinus Surgery


Endoscopic sinus surgery is a surgical procedure that is used to open the pathways of the sinuses so mucus can drain properly. During this procedure, doctors remove the bone and mucous membranes that are blocking the sinus passageways by using a fiberoptic telescope that eliminates the need for a surgical incision in the skin. Understanding what to expect when recovering from endoscopic sinus surgery will help patients prepare for the procedure and its effects.


As with any sinus surgery, patients who have undergone endoscopic sinus surgery can expect to have some bleeding. According to the Oregon Sinus Center, most patients do not need nasal packing to curb blood loss. However, some patients will go home with a small nasal pack to be removed within 24 hours. Very rarely, blood loss is excessive and requires a blood transfusion to replace what has been lost. Patients should carefully follow their discharge instructions and report any unusual or excessive bleeding to their surgeon.

Swelling & Bruising

The tissues around the eyes and nose are very delicate, making it possible for bruising and swelling to occur due to the manipulation of surgical equipment inside the nasal passageways. Swelling can be treated with a cold pack. Be sure to follow the instructions on the cold pack for the best outcome. If swelling continues, contact a physician to discuss other treatment options.

Recurring Sinusitis

According to the Oregon Sinus Center, endoscopic sinus surgery is meant to treat the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. It is not meant to be a complete cure for sinusitis. Patients may experience recurrence of their symptoms and should expect to continue taking sinus medications after surgery. Medications may be taken in smaller doses if symptoms improve with the surgical procedure.

Severe Risks

Endoscopic sinus surgery has some severe risks, although they are rare, generally affecting less than 1 percent of patients, according to WebMD. The Oregon Sinus Center lists visual problems, spinal fluid leak, facial pain and alteration of sense of smell or taste following surgery. Patients should record any unusual side effects and report them to a physician for evaluation and possible treatment.

Activity Restrictions

Patients who have undergone endoscopic sinus surgery should expect to avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Strenuous activity can include lifting more than 10 pounds, bending over, or straining to complete a task. Patients should also expect to stay home from work for one to two weeks in order to fully recover. Do not resume normal activities until you have seen your doctor.

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