How Long is Sinus Surgery Recovery?

Sinusitis Treatment

Sinusitis Treatment

There are several factors that go into determining how long sinus surgery recovery will take. When planning for surgery, it’s important to make sure you have enough time available for a full recovery. Rushing back into certain activities too soon can increase discomfort and prolong healing time for your nose and sinuses.

Quicker Sinus Surgery Recovery Than in Years Past

Diagnosis and treatment are always unique to the individual as well as everyone’s individual healing process.
That being said, sinus surgery has been around for many years, and as techniques, technologies, and medical understanding have improved, recovery time has gone down. Today, the average recovery time for the most commonly performed functional endoscopic sinus surgery ranges from several days to a couple of weeks.1

It’s important to note that recovery is a gradual process. For example, you may be able to start exercising again within a week of surgery, or it may take a little longer. However, that doesn’t mean the sinuses have fully healed. As your healing progresses, you’ll be able to do more day-to-day activities.

Have you experienced any of the following symptoms for 12 consecutive weeks or longer and are over the age of 18?

  • Facial pain, pressure, or fullness
  • Difficulty breathing through nose
  • Descreased sense of smell
  • Drainage of cloudy or colored mucus
See if my symptoms are chronic sinusitis arrow
checklist

Factors That Play into How Long Your Sinus Surgery Recovery Will Be

It’s not possible to predict exactly how long your own recovery will take. There are a few reasons for this:

  • no two patients have the same exact identical anatomy
  • patients recover at different speeds
  • some sinus surgeries are more extensive than others

So, if you have a relatively non-extensive surgery and your job involves mostly desk work, you may be able to return to work in a matter of days. However, if you have a more extensive operation or if your job requires strenuous physical labor, it may be a couple of weeks before you can return to the workplace. 2

Your ENT physician is the appropriate person to estimate exactly how long your sinus surgery recovery is likely to be in your unique case.
That said, there are a few factors that may, in general, speed recovery along considerably.

A Helping Hand from Medical Technology

Several decades ago, doctors would need to make incisions in the face to access and treat the sinuses. Fortunately, this approach changed with the invention and popularization of the endoscope.

The endoscope enables doctors to perform surgery through the nostrils. Now, doctors don’t have to make external incisions.

Doctors can monitor the inside of the sinuses using a scope. The scope is connected to a screen and used to remove the diseased tissue using small, precise instruments that are also inserted through the nostrils.3

Sinus Surgery Recovery Summary

Sinus surgery has come a long way since it was first performed. Patients are often able to return to work within a matter of days, though many factors may make your individual recovery time faster or slower. Following your doctor’s postoperative instructions is the best way to make sure you heal as quickly as possible. Make sure to continue to check in with them in the days after surgery and immediately let them know if you experience increased bleeding or other issues.

References

  1. https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_749wb3qi
  2. https://med.stanford.edu/ohns/OHNS-healthcare/sinuscenter/resources/sinus_guide.html
  3. https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/sinusitis/

MPM-12027 Rev 1.0

Recent Articles

How chronic sinusitis affects quality of life and the role of sinus surgery

Breathing is fundamental and usually automatic. If you’re doing it right, you don’t notice it. If your breathing goes wrong, though, you realize it pretty quickly. It may cause discomfort, disrupt sleep, and…

Nasal polyps: When a doctor may recommend to have them removed

Nasal polyps can seriously affect the quality of your day-to-day life. Sufferers of sinus conditions experience a wide variety of problems with breathing (both during the day and while asleep—sleep apnea can seriously…

Sinuses: What are they and what do they do?

There are a variety of issues that can affect our sinuses, and for most people, the only time we really become aware of the sinuses are when they are acting up. It may never have occurred to you to ask: What, exactly, are your sinuses…

Safety Information

The purpose of the site is to help create awareness about sinusitis and treatment options for the disease. Please note that information contained on this site is not medical advice. It should not be used as a substitute for speaking with your physician. Always talk with your physician about diagnosis and treatment information.