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My post-sinus surgery update

My post-sinus surgery update

Over two weeks ago I posted my first blog as I was preparing for sinus surgery. I enjoyed reading the feedback as I was recovering and found some great advice and words of encouragement.

This was my third surgery on my sinuses. So I knew what I was in for. This time it was a little different. This surgery involved nasal septal reconstruction, bilateral submucous resection of turbinate bilateral…all fancy terms meaning I had a deviated septum fixed and polyps removed. This was the first surgery where I had my deviated septum repaired.

My recovery right after the surgery was difficult as I dealt with nausea. Eventually I was able to go home and that evening I felt good. I had just a little bit of pain and draining the day of and the day after surgery.

It wasn’t until two days later that the headaches started. I dealt with migraine-like headaches for the next seven days. I slept a lot with my head elevated and took the pain medicine as directed.

I finally got some relief when I was able to do the sinus rinse. The best advice I can give after this surgery is to regularly use sinus sprays and start the sinus rinses as soon as you have doctor approval.

I have visited my physician, Dr. Jay Dutton, an ear, nose and throat doctor on staff at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill, three times now for follow-up. My nose has been cleaned each time. I recalled that being a lot more painful the last two surgeries. My best description of it was feeling like your brains were being sucked out of your nose. Now I find it more of a relief as it gets rid of some of the pressure in my head. He said I am healing well and all looks good.

The other difference from my past two surgeries is that they did not pack my nose. Instead I had nasal stents placed to help keep my passages open. I will have the stents in my nose for two more weeks just to keep from swelling. I refuse to watch anything about their removal.

All in all, I’m doing OK. I won’t say I’m jumping for joy yet but I’m definitely feeling better every day. Currently it feels like the same as having a sinus infection but I’m very hopeful that this will be the last time I am having that feeling.

To anyone considering sinus surgery, I will say a little bit of pain for a short period of time is worth it as long as I can breathe again. Even though I’m still healing I can already tell a great difference in how much better I’m breathing.

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  1. Lynn Hutley

    Glad to hear that you are doing well and that there were no complications. Thanks for sharing your story – it is always helpful for others to hear a first hand account if they are facing a medical procedure.

  2. Wow, Shannon. Sure sounds like quite a journey. Glad your recovery is going well, as also hope that this will be the last of the headaches AND surgeries! Happy healing!

  3. “I will have the stents in my nose for two more weeks just to keep from swelling. I refuse to watch anything about their removal.” I must admit you made me kind of laugh with that, even while cringing.

  4. Happy to hear you’re on the mend. What a journey!

  5. Shannon Homolka March 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm · Reply

    Thank you to everyone for the well wishes.

  6. You are in good company! I had my first sinus surgery- also with Dr. Jay Dutton in July 2013. Had a good experience in all- very little pain for me- though.
    Those splints are tough to take coming out- a colleague of mine lost consciousness and I nearly did, except, being aware of what my colleague had gone through, I knew I could experience it- so let them know I was losing consciousness. Quickly the staff laid my chair back and got my blood pressure to my head again.
    Definitely “follow the recipe” that the office asks you to do- the saline rinses- regularly-keep the nasal passages moist which aids recovery.
    Rest- moisture-healing= sinus relief

    • Shannon Homolka March 26, 2014 at 11:11 am · Reply

      Thank you for sharing Donna. I’m glad to hear you had a good experience as well as had Dr. Jay Dutton as your surgeon. Here’s to our sinuses staying clear and surgery free!!!

  7. Glad to hear you are on the mend and hope this is your LAST surgery! I recently had a balloon sinuplasty and hoping it buys me some time and hopefully keeps me away from surgery.

  8. Happy that things went well for you, but that sounds horrible. Knocking on every piece of wood I can see that I don’t ever need that type of surgery. Wishing you a continued speedy recovery.

  9. Hi Shannon, I am contemplating similar surgery with Dr. Dutton. How was your nose breathing during the time you had the stents? Manageable?

  10. The surgery repairs the nasal septum, right? Hope you’re doing fine, Shannon. Keep writing.

  11. Just wanted to give a little bit of an update on how I’ve been doing. I’m doing really good. I still battle allergies and most recently had a sinus infection. However, nothing like what it used to be. All very manageable. Unfortunately for me I am not a candidate for allergy shots at this time so my allergies will be a battle. The good news is that I’m not dealing with the sinus headaches that would knock me out.

  12. Just came across your blog and I am glad that I did. It was very informative. I had a septo-rhinoplasty procedure done almost 30 years ago. Getting ready to have it done again along with the sinus surgery portion this time. As long as I can control the pain I should be alright? Am a little nervous because of the previous one though. It is being done by a very good ENT Surgeon at a local hospital in Massachusetts. Thank you Shannon

  13. Although recovery seems to be a slight roller-coaster ride, I’m anxious to get my surgery in a week. It’s been about 10 years since I started experiencing problems and taking decongestant pills every night to sleep, I’ve had to progress to nasal sprays, which I try to avoid. Sudden food allergies compounded my situation so I don’t eat after 4pm. Otherwise, I’m into the nasal sprays to sleep. I finally convinced my primary care physician that my “sleep apnea” may be more a nasal issue since I wasn’t using my CPAC machine because I couldn’t breath through my nose and a full-mask option I was not going to try until I saw an ENT. It wasn’t two minutes with the ENT when he asked me when I injured my nose, causing an accordion shaped deviate septum. I immediately knew when it happened 40 years ago. Since then the growth of cartilage and scar tissue over the years finally progressed to a point where my nasal passages started becoming obstructed. Watching videos of the procedures and follow-up visits can cause some anxiety but the testimonies of success are encouraging. The use of decongestants has increased my blood pressure and enlarged my prostate, and possibly have done some kidney damage, so I am eager to get this surgery done. It will be my first surgery. It’s comforting for people to share their experiences. I’ll report back and hopefully it won’t be this late at night because I’ll be fast asleep.

  14. Hi I had nasal septoplasty on Tuesday.
    It’s going well, the swelling has gone down I have stents up my nose for another week and two days. Using the irrigation bottles and sprays. I feel faint sometimes and head aches but I take pain medication when this happens.
    Is anyone else experiencing a lot of dried blood up their nose to the point where the nostril feels really narrow?
    My partner accidently bumped my nose on Saturday and the dried blood has got worse from then.
    Is this normal?

  15. Shannon Homolka June 15, 2015 at 9:36 am · Reply

    The best advice I can give is to keep up with the irrigation bottles. Keeping the noise moist will help the dried blood. I had a similar little accident when my dog swatted me in the nose. It takes a while for the nose to feel opened but when you finally get those stents out you will be amazed.

  16. Sounds good and glad to know about you and I hope you doing good now a day. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  17. Now a day’s Sinus Surgery become a normal surgery, because a large number of people become affected by sinus problem. It solved by a minor surgery but the patient should take completely rest 4 to 5 days after operation. I was also a sinus patient but at present I have fully recovered from it. I operate it from the famous Calwest Head & Neck Surgical Institute last year.

  18. Dr. Dutton also did my surgery, 4 days ago. Not bad. I took NO PAIN meds after I got home. Lots of drainage. Feels like someone punched me in the nose, but who takes Vicodin for that? I’m a surgeon myself, so obviously I picked Dutton (he’s the best). I had a lot of work to do in the sinuses with septoplasty and the full turbinate submucosal resection thing. But it’s not a bad surgery. I have had a lot of fatigue (which has never been my problem before!). A lot of people say this hangs on for several weeks. To prepare for postop, get a wedge ( or several regular type) pillows to sleep at a 45 degree angle for 3-4 days. Inhale steam several times per day. Take vitamin C 1000 mg three times a day for a month (tissue healing). Water at the bedside the first three nights (you’ll be dry) and the best lip balm (Hurraw!). Good luck all.

  19. hello surgery website March 31, 2017 at 8:49 am · Reply

    Oh! Really thank you so much for posting this content. After reading your story people gets the help regarding sinus surgery. and thank you so much for sharing the personal expirence.

  20. Thank You for sharing your Story, I would like to share mine as well, as your surgery sounds like mine. My question is, I’m one week out of surgery, I am still experiencing alot of pressure in my forehead to the top of my head when I lean forward, cough, and use little force to go to bathroom, do u have this and will it eventually go away..

  21. Carri Phillips May 9, 2017 at 4:03 am · Reply

    I am out a week from surgery. I feel much better and can BREATHE! I have slight pressure in my head and cheek. I made the mistake today of going inside my Grandma’s dusty house. That is how she always lived sadly. She won’t let anyone dust or clean her house. My Dad opened the door to let air in. For that I was thankful. I prayed I would not get a sinus infection. My post op appointments show I am healing. My last one is Wednesday.

  22. Any releaf for when you have nose splints in driving me crazy

  23. Dr. David Greene Arizona August 13, 2018 at 3:15 am · Reply

    Thank you for sharing your store. Glad, you are feeling better.

  24. I had a septum repaired and turbinates redesigned less than 12 hours ago. I am wondering, does anyone else have issues with the splints coming down to your nostrils from sneezing. I am sneezing open-mouthed but they are still moving downward. How much pressure could I put on them to put them back up by my septum?

  25. Had sinus surgery 6 days ago. No pain or headaches the first 3 days. Felt good. Day 3 I began to feel as I do when I have a sinus infection and a headache with it.
    On day 4 dr put me on a different antibiotic based on returned cultures. Finished medrol pack today. Dscoraged that once again I feel the snus infection symtoms this many days out from surgery. Anyone else experience this?
    They say 2 weeks until you should begin exercising but if I feel a little better would love to get on a stationary bike becase my hips, knees, and back are stiffening up.

    Any feedback on others’ experiences would be appreciated!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.