Sinus surgery includes many surgical procedures. Some of them are not so, extensive and are performed under local anesthesia while others are rather extensive and require general anesthesia. This is why the recovery differs and is not the same after all sinus surgeries. Luckily, even after the most extensive sinus surgery the recovery does not have to last long. There are several more factors which interfere in the actual length of the recovery time and they include patient's age, his/ her general health, complications after the surgery, comorbidities etc.
Recovery from Minor Sinus Surgery
Minor sinus surgical procedures include those performed in patients who are not suffering from serious sinus illnesses such as polyps, fungi and active infection, procedures which include manipulation only inside the sinus without additional septoplasty and postoperative packing, minor septoplasty with endoscope and turbinate reduction and finally, balloon sinuplasty. All the previously mentioned are not extensive surgeries and patients take them very well. Majority of patients even come back to work a day after the procedure. The recovery time may extent to 3 or 4 days maximum.
As for minor sinus surgeries the most important issue is proper postoperative drainage. Patients commonly complain about a large amount of bloody mucous discharge which drains down the back of the throat. This bothers patients most during the first two nights after the surgery. Additional complaint is related to pain. The postoperative pain is mild and some patients suffer from no pain. The pain is usually in a form of headache. Only if the pain is very intensive the patients are prescribed pain reducing medications.
Recovery from More Complex Nasal and Sinus Procedures
More complex sinus surgery procedures are those accompanied by septoplasty and possible packing, surgeries which include removal of a large portion of the turbinate, procedures performed in patients who are at the time of surgery suffering from serious inflammation of the sinus structures and surgeries for cysts and polyps in the maxillary sinus.
Recovery time lasts a bit longer for patients who require packing and those who are suffering from any kind of inflammatory process at the time of surgery. The pain may occur and it usually accompanies septoplasty.
Patients who have undergone more extensive sinus surgeries with packing recover from the surgery within 4 to 7 days. Some of them return to work the day after the packing is removed although this is not recommended. Once the packing is removed the recovery is not so complicated any more. Patients can breathe normally, there is no more feeling of the pressure inside the sinuses and fluid accumulated in the sinuses may drain properly.