Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: Before Your Surgery

Skip to the navigation

What is endoscopic sinus surgery?

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a type of surgery. It removes small bits of bone or other things 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 in the scope. He or she 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. He or she may use an endoscope to look at your sinuses again. Or he or she may need to take out scar tissue or clean your sinuses. Doing these things can help sinuses heal.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

What happens before 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

  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell your doctors ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some of these can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anesthesia.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if you should stop taking these medicines before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Your doctor will tell you which medicines to take or stop before your surgery. You may need to stop taking certain medicines a week or more before surgery. So talk to your doctor as soon as you can.
  • If you have an advance care plan, let your doctor know. Bring a copy to the hospital. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets your doctor and loved ones know your health care wishes. Doctors advise that everyone prepare these papers 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.

Going home

  • Be sure you have someone to drive you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine make it unsafe for you to drive.
  • You will be given more specific instructions about recovering from your surgery. They will cover things like diet, wound care, follow-up care, driving, and getting back to your normal routine.

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 http://www.healthwise.net/ed

Enter T579 in the search box to learn more about "Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: Before Your Surgery."

Current as of: July 29, 2016