Preparing for sinus surgery
November 12th, 2017
What to know, how to get ready, where to look for advice
You've seen your general practitioner, been referred to an ENT doctor, been diagnosed, and received the news that sinus surgery is your best option. You've decided that sinus surgery is the right option for you, have scheduled the surgery, and now you're awaiting your surgery. So far, so good!
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 ensure a smooth surgery, here 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. 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.
In review …
The instructions your doctor gives you are well established, and they have worked for many patients. Here 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:
- Take any medicines the ENT doctor has prescribed for you. Take them as instructed. These may include antibiotics or oral steroids. Start them when you've been instructed to start them and take the amount prescribed on the schedule given to you.
- For at least seven to 10 days before surgery, your doctor may tell you to try to avoid medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). (Tylenol isn't an NSAID, and you can take it pre-operation.) Also avoid Vitamin E supplements, gingko biloba, garlic tablets, and ginseng. These medicines can thin the blood, which can cause issues during surgery. Your ENT doctor will provide you with specific instructions for this and other issues. If you have questions, ask your ENT doctor.
- Tell your doctor about any medicines or supplements you are taking, and tell any other doctors you’re receiving care from that you’re planning sinus surgery. 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.,)
- On the day of your surgery, you should consider not eating or drinking anything after midnight. This is because anesthesia can be less safe if the patient has anything in their stomach.
Surgery is a major event, and it's important to follow the doctor or nurse instructions for the best results and a swift 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 physician. They'll be able to address your questions so you can breathe easy in advance of your operation.