Nasal surgery is any surgical procedure on the outside or inside of your nose designed to treat structural or airflow problems. While nasal surgery is meant to improve your quality of life 一 either by improving your ability to breathe freely or by correcting a deformity 一 you know surgery is serious and may wonder what the recovery process is like.
Here, our team at Memorial Village Sinus and Hearing in Houston, Texas — led by Dr. Conrad McCutcheon — discusses what it’s like to recover from nasal surgery.
The many types of nasal surgery
We offer several different types of nasal surgery including:
- Image-guided balloon sinuplasty
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS)
- Turbinate reduction surgery
- VIVAER® nasal airway remodeling to correct deformities
- Posterior nasal nerve (PNN) therapy to help with allergy symptoms
Each of these surgeries has a specific goal, and as such, your specific recovery instructions may vary. Rest assured, our team provides you with all of the details you need to recover comfortably at home after your surgery.
Nevertheless, there are some common themes when it comes to recovery, regardless of what type of surgery you’ve had.
Following your surgery, you may feel a little groggy or nauseous from any anesthesia. This is common and to be expected, and you should plan ahead to take it easy the remainder of the day while you rest at home.
You may also have a drip pad under your nose — a disposable, absorbent piece of cotton rolled in gauze to help collect any blood and mucus. You may need to change your nasal drip pad regularly, particularly during your first 24 hours after surgery.
Your nose may bleed a bit and feel sore, and you may also experience swelling on your face, including your nose, upper lip, around your eyes, and even your cheeks. A “stuffy” feeling is also common.
With any surgery, it’s common to experience some level of post-op discomfort. Nasal surgery is no exception. Dr. McCutcheon may provide prescription pain medication, but you can also find comfort with:
- Keeping your head elevated (this also helps with swelling)
- Applying cold compresses to your face
- Taking over-the-counter pain relief medication
Elevating your head is important, even when it’s time to sleep. Consider sleeping in a reclining chair instead of lying flat on your bed.
In addition to changing your nasal drip pad, you must keep your surgical site clean. If you need to rinse your nose with saline, our team provides instructions on how to do so. You can reduce your risk of developing an infection by:
- Following all post-op instructions
- Changing your nasal drip pad when needed
- Using saline spray
- Refraining from inserting anything into your nose
If you notice any signs of infection 一 such as fever, pus, or increasing pain 一 reach out to us right away.
Although you don’t need to follow any specific diet after nasal surgery, it’s good practice to include nourishing foods into your meal plan to help promote healing. Soothing soups may be particularly comforting if your nose is stuffy.
Because protein helps repair damaged body tissues, form antibodies to fight infection, and synthesize collagen, this macronutrient is vital after surgery. Good sources of protein include fish, lean poultry, nuts, legumes, and seeds.
Breathe clearly once again
Despite the associated downtime, nasal surgery is designed to help you breathe clearly again. Whether you’re dealing with a deviated septum, polyps, or another issue, that end goal is still the same.
Although your specific recovery timeline may vary depending on the procedure, you can expect to improve in the days and weeks following surgery.
Questions? To learn more about nasal surgery or to make an appointment with Dr. McCutcheon, call Memorial Village Sinus and Hearing at 281-822-3777. You can also book your appointment online.