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Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: Before Your Surgery

What is endoscopic sinus surgery?

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a type of surgery. It removes small bits of bone or tissue that can block sinuses. This opens up your sinuses and may relieve your symptoms.

To do the surgery, your doctor puts a lighted tube into your nose. This is called an endoscope, or scope. It lets the doctor see your sinuses. Then the doctor puts special tools alongside the scope. The doctor uses these to remove whatever is blocking your sinuses.

Most people go home a few hours after surgery. But it may take 1 to 2 months before you feel completely normal. You can probably return to work in about 1 week and your normal routine in 3 weeks. But it depends on the type of work you do and how complex your surgery was.

After surgery, you will see your doctor to check how well you are healing. The doctor may use an endoscope to look at your sinuses again. Or the doctor may need to take out scar tissue or clean your sinuses. Doing these things can help sinuses heal.

How do you prepare for the surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
  • The surgery may take up to several hours. It depends on how badly your sinuses are blocked.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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