Ear Nose Throat, Head & Neck Surgery – Things to know

Ear Nose Throat, Head & Neck Surgery - Things to know

Surgeries, like sinus or ear and neck surgery, are performed with the patient under general anesthetic conditions. So usually, patients sleep through the surgery without getting the brunt of the pain. Post-operation, patients must spend some time in recovery and while their body tries to heal. Often, patients feel better enough to get back home after a while, but a few may spend a day.

Post sinus and nasal surgery, patients can expect nasal discharge, primarily red-colored. As days passed, the red nasal discharge would decrease and even turn lighter. For a maximum of 14 days, you might notice blood-tinged eruption post-surgery. The surgery may also result in short-term tissue swelling in your nasal cavity. You may even go through a phase of congested and full nose as well as the sinus.

Post-operative care 

  • For the initial days after surgery, you can keep a cotton pad below your ear or nose for discharge. However, it would help keep changing the gauze from under the nose as it becomes soiled from the release. But if you experience persistent bleeding, immediately contact your ENT clinic. In the initial week, post-operation, try sleeping with a minimum of two pillows under your head. 
  • To reduce congestion and feeling fullness in the operation area, keep your head in an elevated position when sleeping. Two pillows can help keep the head raised from your chest level.
  • Make sure you take antibiotics as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Antibiotics will save you from the risk of infections. It is necessary to take them right from the evening of your surgery.
  • Even though it is likely that your medical care provider would recommend a few pain medications, it is recommended to take regular medicines when you face discomfort or mild pain. Avoid taking over-the-counter pain medications as they may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Follow proper care post-surgery, and also make sure you follow up with your medical care provider as instructed. Regular check-ups will help in evaluating the recovery speed of your sinuses and nasal cavity.
  • Make sure you take pain medications exactly half an hour before your initial two post-surgery sessions.
  • Wash your nasopharynx with a saltwater solution right after your very first post-surgery session. Flushing your nasal cavity with salt water will help your sinus to recover better and quickly. After you flush out your nasal cavity, it is a common sight to have scabs and crusts discharging from your nose.

Limitation and protection

After you begin flushing your nose with salt water, you can also start blowing, but make sure you are gentle in the process.

  • Blowing your nose in the initial ten days post-operation may increase the risk of bleeding. You can sniff in if any secretions are bothering you. If a sneeze comes up, instead of holding it back, try doing so with the mouth wide open.
  • Increase intake of fluids, and gently initiate regular diet.

Avoid smoking, as well as passive smoking. Some fumes may irritate your body after such surgeries.