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What to do after your Sinus Surgery

We have put together a list of post-operative instructions for those who have recently undergone sinus surgery or are looking to have it. In this guide, we outline what to do after surgery.

  1. Continue biting on the gauze immediately after surgery for a minimum of 30 minutes to stop the bleeding. If bleeding persists place another gauze pad and bite down for an additional 30 minutes.

  2. If treatment has been completed under sedation or you have taken anti-anxiolytic medication, a responsible adult will need to drive you home and accompany you for the rest of the day until you are fully recovered from the effects of the medication.

  3. For pain relief, analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication are prescribed by your dental professional and should be taken as direct. Certain medications will cause drowsiness and it is important not to drive or operate heavy machinery until fully recovered from the effects.

  4. For the first evening’s sleep, rest your head on two pillows so that your head is slightly elevated. Cover the pillow in a towel to protect from staining if bleeding occurs overnight.

  5. The use of ice packs is not highly effective however in the first 24 hours it may assist with pain relief and help reduce swelling. Place ice packs on for 30 minute intervals for a few hours.

  6. After 24 hours you may gently rinse with savacol mouthwash. Dilute the mouthwash half with water and use for 2 minutes twice a day for 5 days. Salt water is not an effective anti-bacterial mouthwash.

  7. After 24 hours you may gently brush the teeth with a soft toothbrush.

  8. If you have a denture to wear, do NOT place it in your mouth until advised by your dental professional.

  9. A post-operative appointment will be organised between 6 and 12 weeks following your surgical appointment. The sutures will dissolve in 10 to 14 days.

What to expect?

  1. Bleeding is expected to occur in various amounts over the next few days from the mouth and nose. Treat a nosebleed with direct finger pressure to the upper part of your nose. Some drainage is normal from the mouth and nose.

  2. Swelling and bruising will occur and may involve the cheeks or even the entire face. This will gradually increase over day 2 and 3 days before slowly subsiding. Bruising will appear purple/blue, then turn yellow before disappearing.

  3. Your dental professional will recommend the analgesics and anti-inflammatory medication most suitable for you. Headaches may also be experienced. Certain medications will cause drowsiness and it is important not to drive or operate heavy machinery until fully recovered from the effects. Take the medications are prescribed. If you require any assistance to reduce your discomfort, please contact our dental clinic.

  4. If your lip, tongue, or cheek is numb, please take care not to bite it.

  5. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms or believe it is excessive in the days following your appointment, please call us on (08) 9226 2135.

What not to do?

  1. Do NOT blow your nose or drink through a straw for 2-4 weeks following surgery.

  2. Try to avoid sneezing 2-4 weeks following surgery. If you must, please sneeze through your mouth rather than hold it in through your nose.

  3. If you are a smoker, do NOT smoke for at least 1 week following surgery as it may increase the risk of post-operative complications and result in sinus augmentation failure. It is preferable to avoid smoking indefinitely to maximise success and longevity of the procedure.

  4. For 24 hours following surgery, do not eat or drink anything that is too hot, too cold or too hard. Maintain a very soft food diet for a week or until you can slowly re-introduce hard foods (eg. scrambled eggs, soup, and yoghurt).

  5. Avoid strenuous physical activity or bending over and lifting heavy items for at least 1 week following surgery.

  6. Avoid aeroplane travel for at 48 hours following surgery as cabin pressure changes can cause pain and swelling within the sinuses.

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