How to Prepare for Sinus Surgery

Sinusitis Treatment

What to Know About Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Let’s talk about how to prepare for sinus surgery. After discussing sinus surgery, you and your doctor have decided it’s the right option for you, you’ve probably already had a CT scan, you’ve taken the time to schedule the surgery, and now you’re awaiting your surgery.

You might have been experiencing a sinus infection or other sinus symptoms prior to this and made an appointment with your general practitioner or primary care physician about available options. They’ve most likely referred you to an ENT doctor, and you’ve already received the news that sinus surgery is the best type of surgery option for you. So far, so good!

How to Get Ready for Your Sinus Surgery

Before you arrive at the surgery center, you should be aware that the more prepared you are, the better the outcome is likely to be. To help prepare for a smooth surgery, below are some things to keep in mind.

Listen to Your Doctor

As part of the pre-operation routine, the ENT doctor usually gives the patient instructions. These are meant to be followed closely for anyone preparing for sinus surgery. If you’re at the stage where you have an operation scheduled, you probably have received instructions from your doctor or their staff; follow these instructions.

The instructions your doctor gives you are well established, and they have worked for many patients.

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
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Sinus Surgery Checklist

There are many things to consider when you prepare for sinus surgery, below is a recap of common instructions that you’re likely to receive—these are merely informational, follow your doctor’s orders and direct any questions to your doctor:

  • Your ENT doctor will let you know which medicines to take1, make sure to follow their specific prescription instructions whether it’s antibiotics or oral steroids. You’ll have specific schedule of frequency and dose amount you should be taking for various medications, so be sure to follow as instructed.
  • There are certain medications you may need to avoid prior to surgery, ask your doctor how many days before surgery you need to stay away from these medications. It could be for at least seven to 10 days before surgery. Examples of commonly prohibited medications are aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS).2 (Tylenol isn’t an NSAID and may be taken up to the day of the surgery. Check with your ENT doctor if you should take it pre-operation.1)
  • Also avoid Vitamin E supplements, gingko biloba, garlic tablets, and ginseng. These medicines can thin the blood, which can cause issues during surgery.1 Your ENT doctor will provide you with specific instructions for this and other issues. If you have questions, ask your ENT doctor.
  • If you’re taking medication, you’ll want to tell your ENT doctor and they’ll let you know whether or not it’s safe to continue during the days leading up to your sinus surgery.1 The ENT practice can then review issues they may not already know about, and your other doctors can clear you for surgery.
  • It is recommended to stop smoking at least three weeks before surgery and continue not smoking for at least a month afterward. (In fact, quitting smoking is important regardless, so please consider it.3,4)
  • On the day of your surgery, you should consider not eat or drink anything after midnight.5 This is because anesthesia can be less safe if the patient has anything in their stomach.

Still Have Other Questions About How to Prepare for Sinus Surgery?

Surgery is a major event, and it’s important to follow the doctor or nurse’s instructions for the best results and an uneventful recovery. Your ENT doctor and their staff have lots of experience assisting patients in preparing for sinus surgery.

If you aren’t certain about any aspect of the surgery contact your ENT doctor. They’ll be able to address your questions, so you feel educated and informed about your operation. In addition, make sure to follow the post-operative instructions and attend all post-operative follow-up visits.



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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.