Sinus Surgery

What is it?

Sinus surgery is an operation in which the openings of the sinuses are opened widely to allow ventilation and to prevent them from becoming blocked. This helps to reduce inflammation in the sinuses and also to prevent recurrent infections.

How is it done?

Sinus surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Depending on the extent of surgery it may take anywhere from 1-3 hours. The surgery is done through the nose using tiny telescopes and specially designed instruments. It is very rare for incisions to be made on the face and if so they would be in the eyebrow line and essentially invisible. Nevertheless these would be discussed with you prior to surgery if they were a possibility. The sinuses that are diseased will be opened into the nose. The partitions between the ethmoid sinuses (between the eyes) are removed to create a single cavity. This facilitates delivery of medication to the sinuses after surgery. You may also require a septoplasty and/or inferior turbinate reduction. The details of these operations can be reviewed here.

What happens after surgery?

This procedure requires a one-night stay in hospital. Rarely there may be dissolvable dressings in the nose (more common if undergoing turbinate surgery as well, click here). The following day you will be discharged home with a regimen of antibiotics and saline flushes for the nose. You will be taught how to use these before you leave hospital. It is not uncommon to have some minor bleeding or bloodstained ooze from the nose after this surgery.

What do I do when I get home?

There are a number of things to avoid after nasal surgery. Please avoid nose blowing, heavy lifting and strenuous exercise as well as hot food or drinks and hot showers.

Read further detailed post-operative instructions.

When will I see you again?

Usually I see you back around 2 weeks after the operation at which time I will examine the nose again with the telescope and remove any crusts that remain.