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Alabama Nasal and Sinus Center
St. Vincent 's Health and Wellness
7191 Cahaba Valley Road,
Suite 301
Birmingham, Al 35242
Phone: (205) 980-2091

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Sinus Surgery Instructions

Thank you for choosing Alabama Nasal and Sinus Center.  It is our privilege to be able to take care of your sinus and nasal health.  Our mission is to give you the best possible care while making your entire experience as pleasant as possible.  In that spirit, we provide the following tips and instructions.

You will receive a call the day before surgery with your arrival time and instructions.  You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight before your day of surgery.  Someone will tell you which medications you can take the morning of the surgery, but these should be taken with very small sips of water.  This is extremely important to understand because the anesthesiologists cannot put you to sleep safely unless you have an empty stomach.  If you have had anything to eat or drink (other than a sip of water with medication) the surgery may be cancelled. 

Pre-operative Instructions

  1. If given antibiotics, continue antibiotic therapy until instructed to discontinue.
  2. If you were given a prescription for oral steroid, continue taking as instructed.
  3. Do not take aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as Aleve, Advil, Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Goody’s Powder) or other medicines that may increase bleeding time for at least seven (7) days before and after surgery.  Some other medications to avoid before surgery are:  ginko biloba, ginseng, garlic tablets, St. John’s wort, vitamin E, fish oil, multivitamins, and green tea.
  4. You can take Tylenol (acetaminophen).
  5. Please stop smoking 3 weeks before and after surgery in order to ensure better healing.  Smoking causes increased scar tissue formation and can lead to poor surgical outcome.
  6. Please abstain from heavy alcohol drinking for two weeks prior to surgery.  Alcohol can promote edema, swelling, and bleeding.
  7. If you have any questions regarding medications or need to reschedule, please call one week in advance so that appropriate changes can be made.  Call Angela at (205) 980-2091.

Post-operative Instructions

  1. No strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, or extreme bending over for the first week after surgery.
  2. You may use Afrin nose spray for the first three days after surgery on an as needed basis to stop minor bleeding and/or to relieve congestion. 
  3. If given a prescription for antibiotics you should continue therapy until instructed to discontinue.
  4. Nasal washings using NeilMed Sinus Rinse will start the day after your surgery.  You should perform nasal irrigations at least three times per day and continue until your return visit.  The NeilMed Sinus Rinse can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, CVS, RiteAid, or at Greystone Pharmacy, over-the-counter.  Please use only distilled water to mix your saline solution.
  5. If you are taking Prednisone before surgery, you will continue that dose until your first post-operative visit.  Then you will be given instructions on how to taper further 4doses.
  6. You will be given a follow-up appointment for one to two weeks after surgery.  Future appointments depend on the extent of surgery and the individual healing process.  If someone can accompany you on the first post-operative visit, you may want to take a pain pill on arrival to the office.  This will reduce the discomfort associated with the first post-operative cleaning of your nose.  If you are alone or have to drive, do not take a narcotic pain pill.
  7.  It is very important that you follow the instructions above to maximize you healing process.
  8. After sinus surgery it is normal to experience the following: 
  • Some bloody discharge for three to five days
  •  Nasal and sinus pain and pressure as well as an increase in congestion and nasal obstruction, which will peak two to three days after surgery and last for about one week.
  •  You may feel very fatigued for the first week after surgery.
  •  You may have nasal congestion, discharge, and increased post-nasal drainage.  

If you experience the following after surgery, please call the office or physician on call:

  1. Fever after the day of surgery higher than 102°F
  2. Constant clear watery discharge after the first week of surgery.
  3. Sudden visual changes or eye swelling.
  4. Severe headache or neck stiffness
  5. Severe diarrhea
  6. Steady, brisk nose bleeding that doesn’t get better after using Afrin.

If you have any questions, please call the office (205) 980-2091.