Sinus Surgery

April 27, 2006

As Colin mentioned in his requests for Songs of the Week, I had minor sinus surgery this past Thursday. I thought it was going to be a walk in the park and not painful at all, but I have been a little bit displeasantly surprised.First off, when I got out of surgery I was in a lot of pain. The doctor said it would take between an hour to an hour and a half. From what my brother told me, I was in surgery for well over 2 hours. When I “woke up” it felt like it. I not only couldn’t throw up, even though I really wanted to, but I also could breathe through my nose so it made me want to puke worse.

Once the nauseau and brain fog subsided, the pain was very very bad, especially when trying to talk or drink. The gauze acted as a pressure factory that made blood bubble out of my nose with every sip. This was no problem because my little snot/blood packaging under my nose caught everything, but when it overflowed, that wasn’t quite fun. Getting the nurses attention to wipe me like a baby wasn’t fun either, especially since raising my voice at all caused a vomit/pain combination that I wasn’t quite ready for.

My bloody nose

They said I was on a multiple oxycodone and demoral concoction that would relieve the pain. They are liars. The gauze plug inside my nose swelled up and stretched out my already painful nostrils. This was the most painful aspect of the whole thing.

Removal of those was fun the next day. Just an fyi, when a Dr. says “All done” it really means it just started to hurt really bad so I’m going to lie to make you think it’s over. After those were removed though, the pain was pretty much gone. However, the headache wasn’t. That lasted for about 2 days and has since subsided.

I have had blood clot/snot removal on Monday, Wednesday, and now added to the party, Friday. They can only remove a little at a time before the flood gates open. And today was pretty much a wash when it came to getting anything out.

I have to start another course of steroids to get the inflammation down and finish up the antibiotics to prevent infection. After that it should be smooth sailing as long as I don’t do anything too physical for the next two weeks or so.

Sleeping is another aspect that isn’t pleasant about this surgery. You have to breathe through your mouth all night, and by the time 8 hours or so rolls around, the back of your mouth feels like you’ve been walking in the Sahara for the past month. Add to that the blood crust that is caked to the back of your throat/tongue gives you the taste of a fresh anus in the morning and you’ve got yourself a fun little wake-up call.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to breathe, walk straight, or even think straight from the constant pressure in my skull that it will be a relief when the whole thing was over. Hopefully this will take care of the problem now and for good. Since it hasn’t gone away for over a year, I’m pessimistic but still hopeful. However, I got polyps removed from my sinuses, which I heard have a high potential of coming back again.Has anyone else had sinus surgery, and if so, how long did it take you to recover? Did the sinus problems come back after the surgery? Please share your story.

Update 2/28/08: I had to have a second sinus surgery. This time he used the balloon to increase the size of the upper sinuses (where I have all my problems). He said the first surgery probably never even really got up that high, and I had a big polyp up there blocking everything up.

This surgery is much better and I would recommend everyone to ask their doctor about this type of surgery instead. There is moderate to very little pain involved and the blood clots seemed to be much less.

Also, he didn’t use the packing (which causes much of the pain and definite discomfort). He used gel that dissolves and you don’t even realize it’s there. You feel congestion, but that should be a normal feeling.

I’m feeling much better after two weeks. Still have a minor headaches, but the doctor assures me he thinks this is going to go away. Also, I have a piece of scar tissue that keeps closing over, but he said eventually that should go away.

That’s all for now. It’s good to hear everyone else’s experiences, and hope you all are doing well.


104 Responses to “Sinus Surgery”

  1. Dennis Says:

    Oh man, that looks pretty tough. But I guess it will all be worth it when it heals. Keep on truckin.

    • Beth Quarterman Says:

      Thank you a zillion times for your blog! My husband found it for me tonight as I was agonizing! Bless you all! It has been 4 weeks now since my lovely sinus/septum surgery. I still feel like a truck, carrying heavy Army tanks, has hit me! When does it begin to feel better? The massive blood globs have lessened. The headaches are still here, alas! The sinus pressure and pain are still with me, who knew?! I go back to the Dr in a few days. He had the kindness of cancelling my appointment last week so he could go out of town, thanks doc! The hydrocodone is not touching the pain. Thankfully, since I have many other health issues, I have a few other things in my arsenal for times like these, but they are only making it bearable! Yikes! I think I did the wrong thing having the surgery. I hurt less before, even if I have not breathed out of the left side of my nose since I was 10, and am now 51, that did not seem so bad now! Ok, thank you for letting me rant! Again, a zillion thank yous!

      • Constance Says:

        BETH…. oh my …. I had surgery Feb 22, 2012. It’s 4 weeks now … I feel horrible… the gel packing that is supposed to “dissolve” hasn’t. I have been back 5 times to have it removed… its sharp and hard now so I don’t think it will dissolve after gel turned hard it doesn’t seem like it will turn to gel and then be absorbed by my sinus…
        how are you now? please please update.

      • Sharon Says:

        I had the surgery 3 weeks ago today. I seem to be doing well except for the cold I caught over the last couple of days. I’m amazed at how my nasal rinse and allergy spray hits my throat immediately now (deviated septum for 28 years). My family says I’m sleeping better – no more snoring or restless nights. Visited my ENT Monday and he says come back in 2 weeks. The professional nose picking was much needed as it is still slightly sore and the stitches itch. I had the full meal deal – the complete roto rooter (turbo, septi, and balloon). Other than the weird stuff that blows out when I “lightly” blow my nose, life is good!!

      • Donna kiber Says:

        Hi to everyone I has my sinuplasty and septiplasty today Han 16, 2014! He’s at Vanderbilt and is voted the best EBT IN AMERICA. I WENT IN AT 9am and left at 4:30 9pm. I’m 62 and I had a mahout heart attract in my lad (widow maker) the reason I was in surgery for 1&1/2 hours was bc he had found spurs in both nostrils and hand to shave them down inside both nostrils. He wasn’t expecting this. So I was in recovery until 4:30pm bc my blood pressure was way to high and had to keep giving med meds to get it down. It took several injections into my iv. I should have gone home around 12noon. I’m not mad,just glad my doc took great care of me! My pain was at 10 so they gave me delauded at least three small doses and it brought it down to a 6 level. I was very glad they watch me very closely bc in the last week of August 2013 I was rushed to the hopital with no potssium, no magnesium amd no sodium and they kept me in er for 9 hours! They were tring to get me to ICU but there was no room so much later they moved me to CCU and my BP was 262/167! I was throwing up out both ends since August 27-Sept 23! The I got batertial sinusitis and it went on for four months until today jan,16,2014. This is my 1st night home and it’s miserable, but I believe I’m going to feel great in a month! Praise be to Jesus! I’m trying to find out if I can take my benadryl tonight bc it helps me sleep, even though I have to sleep highly elevated! Do y’all know if I can take benadryl this soon after surgery?

    • tina milton Says:

      i had frontal sinus surgery in o6, now i can’t be around perfume are strong orders, my face swell,head hurts so bad i’m in prison now, went to a doctor in Houston two weeks ago, he said he can’t figer it out, “something happen but what” i’m in prison can’t do anything now, i’m spending lots of money and no answer

  2. Mike Stickel Says:

    You know, “you got this” as in you got this beat. Focus on the positive and get yourself some Three’s Company or Rockford Files on DVD when LOST is finished.

  3. Amy Fehnel Says:

    Hey Chris. Sorry to hear about your surgery. I wish I had read this before lunch instead of after. Great snotty detials. Hope you feel better soon. Tell everyone I said “hello”.

  4. Chris Fehnel Says:

    Amy, so nice to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the encouragement. Tell everyone I said “hi” and send my love.

  5. Greg Says:

    Thanks for sharing. I’m thinking about sinus surgery myself. My question to you…Now that it is over; was it worth it?

    Greg :O)

  6. wendy duenez Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I just had surgery on 9/12. Still in a lot of pain… I had my left sinus cleared and a deviated septum fixed. I did not know it would be so bad! You said it all!!! Wondering if it will be worth it? I can breathe through my left side which was impossibel before… Having trouble with blood clots still… so what do you think, would you do it again?

    Thanks for sharing! They sure don’t tell you the whole story at the doctors office. 🙂


  7. Chris Fehnel Says:

    Greg and Wendy: Yes, I would do it again. Recently, I have started having some of the same issues I was having prior to surgery, but I hope to get it under control to prevent the need for another one. However, it has provided me with a couple months of free symptoms, which were really interfering with my work. I know this may sound odd to some but severe sinus infections can really mess you up.

  8. linda Says:

    Sorry you had so much trouble. First of all – for ANY future surgeries – let you anesthesiologist know that you get VERY nauseus from anesthetics. Knowing this – they will get anti-nausea drugs in you from the get go. I found this out the hard way. My last two surgeries I had the anti-nausea drugs early – I had my husband stop for carry-out food on the way home! This makes a HUGE difference.

    I had some pressure – after 3 days I was allowed to blow my nose – this felt great! I had the ‘crust- emoved today – weird to have someone pick your nose! It is really the scabs – you breathe easier after they are out. have your Dr. go slowly – makes it easier. Some of the scabs are still a bit attached – going slowly lets it pull gradually. Still a very weird feeling. I can breathe much easier now.

    I have an allergy nasal spray to use for a month and I’ll begin sinus rinses. ALWAYS keep your mouth open as you do this.

    From what I’ve heard – the whole proceedure is a HUGE improvement over the prior nasal packing. I’m just grateful that the sdinus infections will be done. Hope you feel better.

  9. Colleen Says:

    Hi – I just had sinus surgery on Jan 18. I, too, am hoping this will make my life normal again. I’ve had sphenoid sinus issues causing vision issues where I get dizzy and don’t feel right driving. I did not have my nose packed so I cannot compare to that (thankfully). I had septoplasty and sinus surgery. I, too, asked fo r anti-nausea drugs and that really helped! I am still having major head congestion and headaches but each day seems better. I hope to be able to drive again after my week-follow up with my dr (to get the scabs cleaned out). Good luck to you (and me).

  10. Joanie Says:

    I just had sinus surgery three weeks ago and thought I would be feeling great. The bleeding has stopped, but I still feel congested and have a headache almost every day. I am ready for this to be over. Do you still have headaches?

    • Eva Says:

      Just had surgy on June 27,still having problems surgy having blood clots and head aches how long will it last?

  11. Jack Says:

    Hello,I had Sinus Surgery about 3 1/2 weeks ago,I am still not feeling much better,I had sinusitis in the front,and a huge polyp in the right Maxillary sinus,that also had old infection,that was not resolved from the 8 rounds of antibiotics I was on,anyway,=I told my doctor I still do not feel much better,and he said,I probably will not feel better for a couple months,I guess that is normal,but I was sick for 8 months and just want it to be over.

  12. MICHELLE Says:

    I too just had deviated septum fixed and turbinate reduction and ethnoid sinuses shaved down on 9/13/07 , can finally breathe thru right nostril which hadnt been able to since may but still having clots come out and headaches in forehead , has anyone experienced headaches?

  13. Niese Says:

    Michelle can you totally breath now aside from the clots? It’s been a little or a month now for you. I just had the same thing done last Friday, it’s been 8 days now and like everyone else I am taking an antibiotic 3 times a day. I also take Benadryl at night and Mucinex-D during the day. I do nasal washes twice a day (morning and evening). This is the very first time I have experienced what seems like a bad sinus infection. My left nostril I can breathe through a little, but my right one still gives me trouble. I can feel the sinus draining, which is a good thing. I pray that it doesn’t take months for the sinus infection to go away, I am ready to get some sleep.

    Does anyone know what I can do to get ride of the dry mouth while sleeping is there an old school remedy?

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  15. martha Says:

    Hi, I too had surgery on 01/03/08. It has been 4 weeks and 3 days since I had endoscopic sinus surgery bilaterally, turbinate reduction, septoplasty AND rhinoplasty. Yes, I am nuts. I was not packed as the norm these days. I am glad to hear I’m not alone with the Sahara sleeping problem, headaches, green gook, etc…I had and still have some of that. Day 12 post-op.- I slightly bent my head over and it caused a major bleed that was something striaght out of a horror flick..blood gushing out of my nose and mouth like a waterfall. I got it to stop with Afrin and pressure, however at 4 the next morning the exorcist visited me again to only be stopped by my suregon meeting me at the ER to have my nose packed with dissolvable packing. That was worse than the surgery itself because i was awake and felt everything. I’m still waiting to “feel better” like everyone else here. Surgery was my last resort and I hope it pays off. Good luck to everyone

  16. Susan Says:

    Had sinus surgery on Feb 1…one week ago. I’m having problems with blood clots causing infection-type illness! Had them removed twice, but they are coming back again! Going to suffer with illness and pain all weekend.
    I thought I’d be well by now, but reading all these comments tells me I have a while to go.

  17. sue Says:

    you guys are killing me. i’m having sinus surgery in 2 days. why on EARTH am i online scaring myself reading all of your accounts???? yikes! i just want to run screaming!!!

  18. Coggie Says:

    I am praying to God it never gets this far. I cannot have any of my nostrils plugged up. I am incapable of sleeping only through my mouth. I’d have to be admitted into the hospital and put in an oxygen tent with a tube down my throat until I got better.

    My left nostril is constantly for years dealing with scabs and I have to blow my nose to clear them or pick them out because they obstruct my breathing (I can’t ignore them, they make sounds, they might even inflame my nostril), but I don’t know what else to do. Nobody seems to know what it is either.

  19. MD Says:

    I had deviated septum, several polyps removed, pan sinusitus (all infected). I am on day 13 and getting better each day. I had very little pain from the surgery. The sponge packing used stayed in for five days but I could get air through my nose with them in, just very congested as before the surgery. It did not hurt when it was removed, only a slight sting. I too was fearful of being completely plugged in my nose but I was not and it was not that bad. I am really starting to breathe good through my nose now but I still flush 3 – 5 times a day and will continue for several months. All in all was not a bad experience and very litte pain other than head aches a few days. Just take recovery slow and be patient.

  20. Dirk Diggler Says:

    I had turbinate reduction on both nostrils. They used both laser and radiofrequency.

    I felt no pain at all. The packing was removed minutes after I woke up from the surgery. It’s 6 days after the surgery now. I’ve been doing the saline rinse 4-5 x’s a day and on Antibiotics. They also gave me pain killers, but I never took it since I have no pain.

    The first 3 to 4 days, I had to breathe through my mouth…. Which I thought I wouldn’t be able to do when I slept. I guess my body learned to adapt to it. The first few days, I wanted to kill myself because it was really hard just breathing through my mouth. I wasn’t really used to it. Eating, brushing my teeth, drinking water turned into a very laborious task.

    Despite not feeling any pain, it feels like I have worst cold of my life. My nostrils were totally congested, and only recently started clearing up. I get drips of fluid coming out of my nose without any warning. The worst part of it, is that I’m not allowed to blow my nose because it may cause scabs to come off the nose and then I’d be bleeding like somebody punched me on the nose a few times.

    I was at the supermarket buying some stuff, and I was behind a hot girl in line.. All of a sudden, I had watery discharge dripping all over. It was embarrassing to say the least. I was going to ask her out, but now she thinks my nose is a water fountain of snot.

    I’m locked up in my room. I’m going to stay here until all the snot stops dripping and my nostrils clear up complete. I hate my life now, but hopefully it’ll get better soon.

  21. Carrie Says:

    Hi I am on day 4 post sinus surgery. I was searching online to see if my experiences are normal. Its nice to find others that have gone through this. The comment about the Sahara desert mouth is so true 🙂 I was unsure if water could even help it was so dry. I have already had the lower packing removed which hurts. BUT I was not prepared for the pain of pulling out the splints today. That was like pulling BIG razor blades out. After they pulled out one splint I requested to just leave the other in 🙂 Its great cause with everything after surgery you get to feel it once in one nostril, then you know what to expect, and then they have to do it ll over again to the other side. I am getting the other packings removed on Monday. I have no idea where they are? It must be up there…..that should be fun. This is a short post beacuse the bad headache is kicking in & the med’s are making me dizzy. All in All this was definatly worse than my 2 knee surgerys, broken pelvis and ribs. Hopefully it gets better. I had a good laugh reading peoples posts because I can relate, which in turn made my smile, which in turn feels like I got kicked in the face. I’ll probably be more positive later in the week sorry.

  22. Greg Says:

    I hate to hear about the pain you went through with your surgery. I just had mine Saturday, and I was expecting a lot more pain and discomfort than what I am experiencing. I just hope it was the right decision for you. LOL I also hope it was the right decision for me, it is just to early to tell at this point. Well I hope everything healed up for you.

  23. Chip on Cape Cod Says:

    Going in for FESS on Wed. this week. Dr. is not sure is there is a fungus ball and probably won’t know until he’s in there cutting the infected sinus tissue out. Kinda nervous – not sure what to expect – any air flow pass the sinuses? Major amounts of gunk & blood? Dissolving sinus packing? Gushing liquids? All kinds of stuff going thru my head now. Though I’m glad to have found this site; thanks everyone for sharing, even if it is snotty

  24. Chip on Cape Cod Says:

    Well good news. Surgery is now behind me. It turned out to be septoplasty, bilateral turbinate reductions and bilateral ballon sinuplasty. No fungus among us I might add. No pain to speak of with the exception of awful headaches. Will need to have the plastic stents removed next Monday. Tired with little energy and drainage has finally stopped. Going to try sleeping in bed tonight. I’ve realized the lazyboy is only my friend just so many days. Today is day 5 after the surgery and I was able to taste orange gatorade and smell a smelly airfreshner too. Yipppeeee

  25. Aim Says:

    i had the works too – sinus surgery, septoplasty & turbinate reductions eight days ago. it sucks but hopefull that it is worthwhile in the long run. i appreciate the blog here – i was beginning to wonder if i were alone in this misery. question i have is how long will it last before i am functional again? i am still miserable even after getting splints out yesterday. which by the way, i almost fell out of the chair when i saw the size of those things – ugh! all i could say to the doc when i saw them was “Oh Sh@#!” anyway, need to get back in the game asap to take care of my two little ones and full time job. hubby is exhausted caring for all of us…hoping it is soon!

  26. Demetri Says:


    I just had my sinus surgery today. The doc removed “a pinky fingertip” sized polyp from my right maxillary sinus. My nose is plugged up with something. I don’t think it is packing, though. What could it be? He said something about a stent or tubing to hold it open but that was before the surgery. Afterword, I only got to talk to him for a few minutes so I don’t know what is up. My return visit is scheduled for August 13.

    I feel glad to have all your collected experiences described here. For those who follow me, it hasn’t been too bad yet. I’m okay breathing through my mouth and even with the stuff in there and gauze and all I can breathe a little through my nose too.

  27. K Says:

    A warm hello to all you fellow seekers of relief from the persistent enemy of sinus infection. I had 5 procedures done in the sinus/nose area 3 weeks ago. Difficulty stopping bleeding after surgery but otherwise the general anesthesia was the worst part at first.
    I was concerned that this past week I had difficulties sleeping and just yesterday I awoke due to a large clot at the back of my throat. I have been expelling thick dark blood through nose and mouth since – and this 3 weeks after the work(!). As I understand this is normal as it may be the body attempting to expel a clot on its own (the second week the Dr. removed a sizable clot that my boyfriend says was like a huge slug. should have more removed tomorrow). Also surprised that the headache and feeling of being out of it is worse than the 2nd week. However, patience and not expecting to be able to return to full high level activity until the body says it is ok is key.

    Suggestions for anyone experiencing dryness:
    -mix equal parts glycerin and spring water in a clean spray bottle. Spray throat and tongue before bed and anytime you feel dry. Helps with the ‘Shahara syndrome’ mentioned by others.
    – aloe vera and/or vitamin E oil in the nasal passages helps too with dryness/crusting.
    -use of a humidifier and moisturizing eye drops/gel are helpful.

    -I only used the oxycodone 3 times as I was already feeling out of it and didn’t want ot add to that. I found that after the 2 week threshold a headache pill comprised of acetominophen/aspirin/caffeine was very helpful early in the day as it reduced some swelling and pain and gave a little focus boost.
    -ice/cold packs. Simple bag of frozen peas if nothing else

    -steaming with tea tree oil or olbas oil is good
    -you can even place a drop of either of these oils on a tissue and inhale
    -Nasal irrigation – this I could not live without regardless of surgery. I also take it in through the nose and expel through the mouth to get the pesky area at the back of the throat where drainage collects.

    Hope that we all have tremendous after suregry success. Clearly we are not alone in this challenge.

  28. Maureen Says:

    I am getting ready to have my 7th sinus surgery for polyps. Good times. The recuperation is not that bad.

  29. Rheanna Says:

    I found this posted by searching for “sinus surgery.” I too just had this procedure done, and had to go today to get the blood clots removed. OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!! The doctor did not say ANYTHING about pain, just that it would be “mildly uncomfortable.” I’m wondering— did you have a lot of problems with the clotting the first time around??

  30. Bill Says:

    Great blog, I enjoy the wining. I am on day 8 (sinus surgery including straightening septum) and feel, have felt, headache, nausea, dry throat, drainage, congestion, lack of energy, poor sleep, etc. Here are my thoughts to date:

    1. If you have a choice, never ever go with the packing, the new spray gel, or powder based on potato starch is great. I had about 5 drops of blood in total over these last 8 days. It is absorbed and washed away very quickly leaving few scabs etc. One of the benefits of our recent wars. Use it.
    2. Do following instruction on sinus rinsing. Very good and calming, relaxing etc. Best way to deal with congestion. My Dr. said Sudafed’s etc. would interfere with your sinuses healing properly. Don’t take them. Your sinuses have to heal to function well – as you can tell 4-6 weeks seems normal.
    3. Dry throat, (I believe a lot of this is caused by the tube in your throat during surgery, mine was about 2 hours.); increase the humidity. I also used Halls Honey throat lozenges. Drink lots and lots of water. Had stents, I believed these helped my breathing. Removed on day 5. Unpleasant buy no real pain. Clots and “booggers” cleaned out by Dr. Much better breathing after this.
    4. Pain no solution really. My Dr. said the NASIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc) are not good to use as you sinuses heal. Also thin blood causing more bleeding. Best is Acetaminophen. Don’t overdose. Very bad for liver. Read label.
    5. Nausea stopped when I finished antibiotic. (Had anti-nausea drug during operation. Why wouldn’t everyone?) Reestablish your stomach flora with active yogurt etc.
    6. Drainage, Lazy Boy is best way I found. Tough to sleep there all night. Try to elevate head. As things begin to heal I am getting more drainage. Back to Lazy Boy and/or couch with elevated head (on arm rest with pillow).
    7. I have missed a week of work. Finally felt well enough to work today. Thankfully it is turkey day and I still have long weekend to continue recovery till I return to work on day 12. You should plan on being laid up for a week. Don’t return to work until you have had at least one good day. (Low pain, reasonable sleep, moderate amount of energy return, etc.)
    8. I was outside shoveling snow yesterday. I lasted about 35 minutes. My nose almost froze from the inside. I have way too much cold air coming into my head. Means air ways are opening up but may need mask to work outside in the cold. Time will tell.
    Hope this helped. I expect to get better and slowly and so should you.

  31. Michelle Says:

    Great blog. Clearly this is a common surgery with fairly similar experiences! Bill gives great advice. (But where does one buy glycerin? In what form?) I am 15 days out from FESS, turbinate reduction (is that part of FESS?), and fixing of deviated septum. I have to say, the recovery was more painful than I expected, and I feel like I have a pretty high pain threshold considering the headaches I was living with for months before this surgery, not to mention 20 years of migraines. My primary complaint now is the new headaches I’m having. Different from the old ones (good news?) but still daily and difficult to get under control. Did anyone have fairly serious headaches this long after surgery? And if so, how long did they last? I’m very grateful to live in Arizona, because even here the morning air burns my nose; I can’t imagine how bad it would be if I lived almost anywhere else. Good luck to everyone going into this surgery! It’s really not all THAT bad, and undoubtedly worth it in the end.

  32. Ed Says:

    Help please!
    I am trying to figure out what is wrong with my nose. I have been having a problem for almost 4 years. First 2 years, one side of my nose had a scab every morning about halfway back, where the nostril constricts. Scab in middle, green boogery perimeter. Could blow it out in shower or pick it out, no problem till woke up next morning. Was living and sleeping fine.

    About year 2 that went away, nostril on that side starting swelling shut in evenings like clockwork, found it is likely turbinate. Also, my low level chronic allergies went away, I used to have a sneezing fit every morning with histamine symptoms all my life. But nose also got really dry, but only that side.

    Doctors did xrays, scoped sinuses, etc. could not find problem with sinuses and turbanits not swollen when at doctors office. I can hear the sound when it swells and just as suddenly when it contracts back to normal. In morning, i can hear a popping and crackling noise when i breathe in that nostril, like rice crispies. That goes away after I get up.

    This caused me to have sleep apnea, felt like I was not able to breathe, mostly in middle of night, but also in day time, panicky, even though i could breathe through my mouth. Felt like I could not swallow, as if my my nose were pinched shut.

    I am now on a cpap machine, which is letting me sleep and eliminated the migraines that I had been getting every day for last 2 years. Also, I quit teaching, a room there was causing acute onset of turbinate swelling. The turbinate prob is lot rarer now, but still getting green and yellow crusts in the same nostril every morning, nostril is always dry, and cant sleep without machine. What the heck is going on? I think I might have picked up a fungus or something at school and it now lives in that side of my nose.

  33. karl Says:

    Just had the works on Tuesday. Polyps and septum.
    I read the blog the night before surgery and went to the operating room with great fear as a result. Have to say that the pain is really not that bad. I did ask my doc to be extra gentle, he was obviously paying attention. The worse pain was when I was waking up after surgery 8/10. They gave me extra meds and that took care of it. I took the T3’s that night which took care of any pain I might have felt. The worse part is the packing. Its so uncomfortable. I am having it out in the morning, can’t wait. I phoned earlier and they told me tuesday next week, I almost fell off the couch. Demanded to speak to the doctor and all sorted. Sure my liver is taking a beating from the prescribed steroids and antibiotics. Oh, sleep sucks. The breathing through the mouth thing is the pits, the dry mouth thing really is one of the worse parts of this surgery. I have water next to the bed, but wake up every hour to sip, then you find yourself going for a pee every 2 hours.

    Overall I guess I am one of the less severe cases. For anyone reading this great blog. You to may not feel quite as bad after surgery. I guess it all depends on the pain tolerance of the individual and the skill of the surgeon. I had my surgery in Toronto by Dr Chioda, very impressed by him all round.

    Good luck to everyone who is scheduled to have surgery. Don’t worry so much as you will get through it and hopefully feel better after, time will tell.

  34. Linda Says:

    This is such a great blog. Sometimes headache sufferers need to just WHINE. Just had sinusplasty with the balloon up the nostrils. Most of my problems in right frontal cavity above the eyebrow. Have had practically daily headaches for the last 2 years. In November of 2007 had endoscopic surgery, septoplasty, etc etc which helped but not for more than about six months with headaches down to about 4 times a week.

    April 21, 2009 just had the sinusplasty with no packing. MUCH better recovery. Dr discovered bone that had to be cut in last surgery had grown back so he had more to do than originally thought. Surgery was successful according to Dr but horrendous headaches just after sinusplasty and to this day I still wake with daily headache on right side above my eye. Am hoping this will stop since just had sinusplasty one week ago and still recovering.

    Also my sinus headaches often trigger migraine headaches so I wind up taking too many expensive drugs that I probably don’t always need. Also am self-employed so must keep my expensive health insurance to cover headaches!!!! Would like a head transplant next surgery I have. I’ve even seen a hypnoanalyst who did a lot of good but I still must “cure” any physical problems to really get better.

    I am ready to scream except that would cause extra pain due to the loud noise it would produce. Any positive feedback on recovery from the sinusplasty AND how long it might take?? I don’t want to lose hope…

    Thanks and good luck to all.

  35. Tiffany Says:

    Hi, I just had surgery Monday with the removal of polyps. I woke up after surgery shocked that I wasn’t in “to die” pain however, the first night home breathing out of my mouth and having to sleep elevated was pretty rough. Today Wednesday I had my packing removed OMG! IT HURT!
    Next Wednesday I’m due back to have crusting removed and after reading some of these postings I don’t think I’m going to make it back to my Doctors office. Is there something I can do to prepare my self to help with this next step? I’m so scared because the packing removal was killer for me I know I can’t take more pain than that.
    suggestions anyone?

  36. Tracy Says:

    I just had surgery today. Had my septum straightened and everything cleaned out. I’d been having severe headaches that caused nausea on a twice-weekly basis for the last nine months and since February they became a near-daily experience. No medication would relieve the headache. I was on antibiotics to treat it as a sinus infection, but a cat scan showed a bone spur on the bridge of my nose and tons of blockage. I told the ENT to do whatever he had to do to stop the headaches and we scheduled surgery.

    I had all the anti-nausea meds they could give me (I get motion sickness, so I think I’m prone to that feeling) and I woke up in recovery feeling just the slightest twinge of it and they pumped more into my IV and I felt fine after that.

    My nose is burning. Like they put a match up each nostril. I think it’s the packing. I can take the packing out myself at 6am and it’s 3am now, so I am counting the minutes (because I can’t sleep anyway.) My mouth has the Sahara syndrome- the worst part is behind my two front teeth. I put oragel on it to numb it and it worked for about five minutes.

    If I tilt my head in the slightest, blood drips out and it feels like when you have a cold and you can’t get your nose to stop running- except it’s blood and there’s packing in the way, so you can’t really do much about it.

    I am hoping that my doctor will use that awesome numbing stuff he used when he first probed my nose to see what was going on in there when he takes out the splints and crusty nastiness. I am going to ask and see what he says.

    I have to pee all the time. I think it’s a combo of the IV saline and the quantity of water I am drinking for dry mouth. This sucks when you’re sleeping and wake up for that!

    I’m on Tylenol Codeine and it really helps. I bought saline spray for tomorrow, after the packing is removed. I might send my hubby out for Afrin, since that seems to help with the bleeding.

    One more note for the Mommies and Daddies out there. I have a 16 month old daughter and I sent her home with my parents for the night. I miss her, but she was very curious about my nose packing and wanted to “help” me by removing it. (I should have let her- “Oh, darn! The baby took it out!”) I’m glad she’s not here, though, as I can’t sleep and I wouldn’t want her to wake up and cry multiple times throughout the night. It will be amazing if I can avoid lifting her or having her bash my nose for a week.

    Thanks for posting this topic for everyone to share their stories and offer suggestions and support.

    I will try to post again and give feedback as to how my recovery went and whether it worked or not.

  37. Tracy Says:

    It’s been almost a week. Shortly after typing the last entry, I removed the packing myself and fainted. Have someone else do this for you, if you can. I’m bad with blood, though, so it might have been that. Bruised my knee, hip and back when I fell (I seriously passed out and hit the floor.)

    After the packing was out, I felt a lot better. Then I started feeling nausea and dizziness, but I think that was from either the antibiotic or the pain killers. My only symptoms right now (six days past surgery) is the headache I had the surgery to get rid of and the discomfort of the stints, which come out Wednesday.

    I am hoping that once the stints come out, the headache will go away.

  38. Thomas Says:

    Had polyps removed from my ethmoids and maxillary sinuses a little over 4 weeks ago. I was having a pretty bad headache for three weeks after the surgery. Its gotten better this last week but its still there. It more of a dull ache now. Doc says it may take 6 – 8 weeks to me to feel like normal. After the packing came out I noticed that I sounded like I’m talking from my nose. I hate it. Doc says that will go away in 2-3 months. Anybody else experienced the voice change?

  39. Now I am slightly apprehensive about my forthcoming proceedure. You made it seem easier and the tips about the gel and balloon are going with me today! Hope you feel better. Melody

  40. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  41. megan fox Says:

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  42. oumaima Says:

    i had turbinate reduction,septoplasty,removal of polyps,and ma last surgery was b4 a month it was endoscopic sinus surgery and turbinate reduction was painfull..but ma prob is dat i really have hadach now..n duuno if its frm ma last surgery or wht??wht u think guyz?? thx

  43. don Says:

    I had sinus surgery on Monday. wasnt too bad the first two days but by the third day the pressure in my nose intensified causing a sudden nose bleed. So I went to see my doctor and told him I couldnt take the pressure obviously from the stints and that I wanted them out. He said they were suppose to be in for seven days of the scar tissue may be a problem and would require removal gthus a second surgery. I said i would take that chance. My question is since some people had no stints and others were removed in three days, what are my chances of not having scar tissue blockage.

  44. Katy Says:

    Had bone spur removed, deviated septum corrected and turbinates reduced last Tuesday morning. ENT injected gel rather than packing. I am pleasantly surprised that I have not suffered more (you know the horror stories we hear).

    My greatest discomfort has been the side effects of Avelox antibiotic. We pretreated the vaginal yeast infection this time and that did not rear its ugly head (shoulder surgery in July). The problem is that the antibiotics kill off the good bacteria in your body as well. Thus my horrible intestinal issues, cramping and associated fatigue.

    I took pain meds (hydrocodone) for the first 24 hours only, which along with surgical dose caused severe constipation (had to take a laxative). This was a similar experience, I imagine, to having an alien inhabit your body.

    I am having minor nasal discomfort. The worst pain I have experienced with regard to sinuses is gum tenderness, slight burning sensations, and a dull ache at times. You get over the nasal rinse thing pretty quickly.

    I have been rinsing about 3 cups of saline/baking soda solution through my nostrils 4 times a day and am using Nasonex first thing in morning and right before bed. Sleeping soundly at night. Was able to lie horizontally after day 3.

    Certainly, this is not a pleasant experience. But can I tell you that I have air flowing through my left sinus now in such a marvelous way and I can’t remember it ever happening before!! I anticipate having to rinse consistently for a few months but am very optimistic about my recovery and improvements in sinus health.

    It is very good to do your research. But do believe that you will be one of the positive outcome cases and proceed regardless of your fears. I imagine those that suffer post to the web more often, right? You wouldn’t even be considering this if you didn’t think this was the last resort and hadn’t decided sobbing to your physician that you just couldn’t live with the chronic sinusitis anymore.

    DO WHAT THE DOCTOR SAYS! Follow prescription labels carefully and don’t cheat on the rinsing. Try not to overdo your activities, either. I have spurts of energy that I wish I could have back about 30 minutes later as I dragging myself back to the sofa! 😉 You deserve to kick back and get it right. Here I go…It may be a “drain”. It’s “snot” so bad. You “nose” it will get better. “Boogering” off!

  45. Jana Says:

    Hey, i am getting ready to have ESS and septoplasty in 1 week. I am really scared. I continue to get sinus infections and now ear aches. The last infection i had got into my ear and caused me to have a hole on my ear drum. I stoped taking the singular, xyzal, and nasal spray because it would cost me about $120 a month. I am a teacher. I can afford that. I am always dead tired. Is it worth the surgery?

  46. Joe Says:

    I just wanted to chime in with my story and experience with quack-docs and sinus hell (and exultation out of it) to help balance the experience stories, calm the fearful, and maybe provide a source for doc-to-doc advice.

    I must say, after reading about the terrible experiences others had, I feel much more positive about my experience now, as crappy as it was for a handful of days.

    My sinus problems developed at 19 and was quite a scary onset, as I didn’t know what was causing my strange headaches or ill feeling and my doc told me I was depressed (I still harbor fantasies of suing him, as that suggestion caused a 3 year anxiety attack). Eventually, I demanded a allergy test and it concluded dust allergy and that my weird pressure headaches were due to allergic rhinitis/sinusitis (FYI – that will or won’t mean a damn thing to have that diagnoses in terms of treat-ability , its just for the docs to feel good about being able to name it. Be careful with taking a docs advice too seriously when he/she tells you it is essentially in your head (making you think you are crazy) or any other diagnoses for that matter. Docs are only people and many of them complacent with their work and lazy in thought and treatment of their patients. ALWAYS ALWAYS get second, and even third fourth, and fifth opinions. Learn to spot a complacent or god-complex doc. Do your research. Ask questions. If the doc does not seem to take much interest in your problems or answering your questions in detail, RUN to find another. I went through 5 ENT docs over ten years before one finally really looked at some sinus ct scans carefully and recommended and performed a very helpful surgery. I heard things like “I don’t see anything notable” to “just because sinus surgery is in-vogue, doesn’t mean its right for you”. Oh really? So I must be imagining this hell stemming from my sinuses. Like many others, I didn’t respond to allergy medication or nasal sprays. I did actually find that Veramyst helped, but only weeks before my surgery was performed anyway.

    The Surgery:
    The doc that finally did his job was Dr. Bradley Johnson of Oakdale ENT in Plymouth, MN. I promise I am sharing my story and their name due to much deserved credit. I am not compensated for it. I was diagnosed with a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, and small maxillofacial sinus opening with a structure blocking it as well. I jumped at the surgery recommendation and got it performed within weeks. I was fortunate to have it performed at a new modern day surgery center ( North Memorial in Maple Grove, MN ). It arrived at 8am, was greeted by the excellent and friendly staff as well as anesthesiologist and my doc before surgery. I went under by 9am, was coming to about 11:30, and on my way home at 12:30. The doc told my mother that more problems were found and corrected so my result should be great. Because of the additional work I was told that splint removal would be 6 days out instead of 3. Packing was not used and I can understand why that would be terrible. Those babies need to DRAIN! Wake-up was greeted with TERRIBLE nausea, drugginess, and blood vomiting (followed by a vicious headache). I felt pretty good after an hour with strikingly little to no pain. They recommended Vicodin, but I asked for Tylenol3 because of past bad experience with stronger pain meds.

    I was home walking talking and almost laughing within hours. I even ate some of my favorite spicy Vietnames Pho soup the first day, which is a pain to eat and messy. I received the strap and gauze set-up like this blogger shows as well as a metallic looking nausea patch to be used for the first day. The gauze had to be changed very often the first day and was removed by the second day. I was a little shocked by the amount of gauze changing needed and attributed it to my being too active. I actually did some business the first day and met with customers. DUMB. I need to learn to let go and just relax sometimes. Things started to downturn by the first night. Sleep was near impossible with desert mouth. I maybe slept 15-30 minutes at a time. I was paging my doc at 3am for a Vicodin Rx to be sent to a 24hr pharmacy. Vicodin definitely helped me get much needed sleep during the first 4-5 nights. I used Tylenol3 during the day and Vicodin in the later hours. Day 2 and 3 were worse than day one, but still not horrible. I started doing sinus rinses with a saltier (thus disinfecting) mix than normal, which made a huge difference in keeping thinks clean and draining. Any sinus sufferer should be intimately familiar with saline rinses via pot or squeeze bottle. I really dig the power washing action of the squeeze bottle. I highly recommend its use during recovery. I did have some headaches and one night it turned into a migraine followed by a terrible day number 5. Day 6 was a breeze with splint removal. I was shocked at how big these plastic guys were that the doc pulled out. It was relatively painless. I went home and did a long awaited sinus rinse with now open passages. I won’t go in to detail of what came out, but it was nothing short of amazing (and disgusting). I was reborn. This is the stuff I imagine is painfully or at least unpleasantly removed during multiple visits of other sinus surgery folk. I had and still have a week later (day 14) some dry slightly “burny” feeling sinus passages. I can breather like an SOB! Sometimes I still get a slightly enflamed passage on one side or another, but it never closes down and the other side is always ultra-open. It was kind of surreal to breathe that well through my nose after ten years of hell (no thanks to 4 quack docs). I look forward to an excellent sinus state after full recovering, and dare I imagine, a life without thinking about my sinus issues!

    in closing – don’t settle for a quack doc. find a recommended one. if you live anywhere near MN, go to Oakdale ENT. if you dont live in MN, recommend your doc consult with Dr Johnson about his incredible surgery plan and technique.

  47. K@tie~ Says:

    Hi all,

    I had Endoscopic Sinus Surgery 48 hrs ago. I am happy I found this blog so I to can whine about my experience. I have had screwed up sinuses for over 2 years due to an autoimmune disease called Vasculitis. The disease has caused my sinuses to narrow and my septum to become perforated. I had pan sinusitis for over a year and since starting medications for my vasculitis I have had regular sinusitis, primarily in my maxillary sinuses. Antibiotics have never worked, and steriods were helping for a while but they stopped working to. I have had re-occuring sinusitis, as well as pain, pressure in my head and ears and popping sensations on and off. I have had to miss many days of work due to the stabbing pain from infection.

    When I woke from surgery, which seemed 5 minutes after being wheeled into the OR, I felt very nauseated and my vision was very blurry. I was coughing like crazy due to the tube being in my throat. I could not speak and my mouth was extremely dry. The nurse gave me some gravol intraveously and it did nothing, so she gave me another dose which finally kicked in. I was worried that I’d barf. I was in some pain so the nurse gave me a percocet. An hour and a half later I was on my way home. At this point I was not overly congested yet and breathing through my nose better than I had in years.

    The day after surgery I work up with my nose completely congested with blood and mucus so I started the nasal rinsing right away. It helped but without being able to blow my nose I had to let the water and blood drip out until it dried up. The most frustrating part so far is not being able to blow my nose. I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can start to gently blow it!!

    I was very lucky in that I did not have any packing at all. My surgeon put plastic stints in my sinuses to keep them open, which will be removed in two weeks. I think overall I’m doing well, especially compared to many on here that are way worse off. Good luck to all. In the end I think the temporary hell is better than the alternative.

  48. B.B. Says:

    How are any of you feeling after 6 months. I had endoscopic ballon surgery 6 months ago I still have presure behind my eyes and under my eyes in my checks. Also when when I suck air up my nose it is really cold feeling. Has anyone else had this feeling?

  49. Anahata Says:

    it hasn’t been six months for me but about two. and this morning i woke up with the worst stabby pain around my eye and up my nostrils. i think my ears are screwed too from the sinus rinses they make me do. my doctor is eight hours away so i don’t really know if i’m being a baby and have some sort of allergy symptom that i’m overreacting too or if something is honestly wrong…

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  51. sandy Says:

    I just had sinus surgery on the 13th of Sept. I had deviated septum repaired,polyps removed and sinus cavities made wider. I have been suffering for about 5 years with fatigue, ear infections, sinus infections and then wheezing where I cannot do sports and I am a highly active person. I have taken every med, i have gone to research hospitals, I have had three cat scans and I have done blood work, i have taken allergy shots. So nothing has worked and I have decided to spend $4500 after my deductible and out of pocket payment to do this. I sure hope it works. my acounnt so far… Right after surgery was pure hell for me. My throat hurt and the end of my nose felt as if it had been in the howling wind for hours straight, and also the disorientation from the anesthesia. Could not keep pain meds. down so I vomited through my mouth and nose twice and then could not keep on top of the pain. Felt better by mid afternoon, a lot better. Could now keep hydrocodone down and eat as well, soup and crackers, yogurt. Each day has been better. My husband bought me this sterile nasal mist for children, that is a must get, it has been so nice to squirt that in my nostrils and keep them moist and kinda rinsed out with the saline. It is the gentlest and coolest feeling. It has been like my baby blanket so to speak. Each day has been a little better. The pain is bad at first but it is temporary, if I can do it anyone can do it. I work from home so I have been able to get some things done. I have not driven for 5 days, just have not felt the need to get out. Have friends that have been bringing me food and helping me get the children where they need to be. Thursday which will be 8 days after surgery that I will get my splint out and get vacuumed out as well. A little nervous about this. I hope all this works. I also have not been able to smell for 5 years. I just want to be able to do sports again without wheezing and I would like to be able to smell again and taste food and not be tired all the time and be able to hear again. Has anyone had these problems and then had surgery and then had great success? I am hopeful, because my life is not what it used to be.

  52. Robert Says:


    I had sinus surgery on April 6th, 2010. I had a deviated septum corrected, outfracturing of my turbinates, and polyps removed.

    When I woke up from surgery which lasted about 2 hours, I was woozy. I didn’t feel much pain at that moment and thought I’d be fine. After release and while being driven home, the pain started! It was VERY crucial pain! It hurt so bad that I wanted to punch out the car window…literally. I was starting to notice the packing/splints a little, but the pain overall was much worse.

    After taking my Percocet I felt a little better. The “throbbing” pain had stopped and was reduced to discomfort and pressure. That lasted about 3 hours. I had to take a Percocet every 3-5 hours to keep the pain manageable. This lasted about 4-5 days.

    I had my packing/splints removed after 5 days. Let me tell you that this is the absolute worst part of the entire surgical procedure/recovery. The Dr’s office told me to take a Percocet before I came to my appointment, I did, it seemed to not have helped much. It is a feeling you can’t describe, you have to experience it. Sucks! You know its going to be bad when the Dr asks if you took a pain pill and “this is gonna hurt”…

    I went back a couple times over the next 2 weeks for blood clot removal, etc. which was not that bad. I had no vacuum though.

    *****GUESS WHAT*****

    …It is now 6 months later and I recently had my follow up nasal scope. Since about 2 months after surgery I’ve had a miserable time with my sinus problems. I’ve had 3 sinus infections in the last 7 weeks, one of them antibiotics didn’t even help. So after this information is relayed to my Dr and the post-op nasal scope…he orders another CT scan.

    My Dr said I have some polyps growing back and I may need extensive sinus surgery depending on how my CT scan turns out. I looked at my CT scan disc and I promise my sinus’ look worse that before my first surgery! Granted, I didn’t have my sinuses worked on the first time per se, but still…

    So I have an appointment tomorrow to talk about the CT scan and probably schedule my 2nd surgery this year…I’ll keep ya posted on the outcome

  53. Sheena Says:

    I had sinus surgery 5 days ago along with surgery to straighten my deviated septum. My surgery went very well and I did not feel any where near as horrible after surgery as I thought I would.

    I was just so sleepy and dizzy from all the meds I wanted to curl up and sleep for days. I did sleep for the entire first day and with my pain pills I was doing ok. I would say the worst part was the nose bleeding. Sleeping with a soaked bloody wet gauge crusted onto your nose is just a little disgusting.

    The dr said it would be about 3 days for the bleeding to go away, but on the 3rd day I still had it. He told me to rinse my nose more often with the saline spray and use Afrin. He said that would restrict my blood vessels and hopefully stop the bleeding.

    I have to say the pain hasnt been bad, the 2nd day I was only using Tylenol for the pain. However, I have been super sleepy, dizzy and sick to my stomach. All this does come and go though. I think it is mainly due to my ears popping constantly, pain meds still in my system, and laying down for so long. I am now up and about, trying to feel somewhat normal.. just trying to work through it now.

    My nose is still however bleeding. I just got off the phone with the dr because I am wondering if I should go to the ER. He said I prob have a blood clot and he would see me in the morning. That’s all great and everything but, I am miserable. I really didnt want another night of my “head and nose gear”.

    Sleeping I think is the worst part of this surgery. I cannot breathe in or out of my nose at all. I wake up to the disgusting taste of blood in my mouth and crusted blood all the way down the back of my throat. I have never woken up with a Completely dry tongue, actually I didnt know that could happen till now. Overall, I think this could have been a much more painful and miserable surgery. I am really hoping it fixes my hearing loss, sinus pressure and headaches, sinus infections, and dizziness. Good luck to everyone out there! Hope you feel better.

    • Karen Says:

      I’m scheduled for sinus surgery and am wondering how you are doing now, six months after yours. Would you recommend the surgery?

  54. Linda Says:

    I had endoscopic sinus surgery on Monday, December 20, 2010. I am an otherwise healthy 30 year old female. The doctor did balloon sinuplasty on my maxillary and frontal sinuses and did an ethmoidectomy and removed polyps. Some background: For the past couple of years I was getting sinus infections every time I flew. I would usually able to clear them up with Flonase and antibiotics. However, the last sinus infection I got after flying in July 2010 would not clear up. I have been trying to get pregnant, so I didn’t want to take any medication. I figured the infection would eventually clear up on its own. It didn’t. I went to my family doctor about a month after I initially got the infection. She put me on an antibiotic that was category B (safe to take while TTC or pregnant). It didn’t work. Over the next several months we tried various other antibiotics and nasal sprays and I stopped TTC so that I could get over this sinus infection. I also used a Neti pot and other home remedies, which provide some temporary relief, but did not solve my problems. None of the medication was working. I was having terrible face pain and sinus headaches. I noticed that my face was swollen and my sunglasses where now leaving a deep indent in my forehead, which had never happened before. The family doc finally sent me for a CT scan and I made an appointment with an ENT. The CT scan showed that basically all my sinuses were clogged up and that I had sinus disease. The ENT said that I had chronic sinusitis. I told her about all the antibiotics I had tried and that I didn’t think that it was a bacterial infection because the mucus that I was blowing out of my nose was totally clear, not yellow or green or some other gross color. I told her that I thought it might be allergy related and also triggered by flying. She agreed. She scheduled me for allergy testing and put me on a steroid and allergy medication in the meantime. I went back a week later for the allergy testing, which showed that I was allergic to everything on the test (I never had allergies – or at least I didn’t know that I had allergies – so this was a big surprise to me). The steroid that I was on helped me a lot, but once I was weaned off of it, all of my congestion returned. The ENT ultimately recommended sinus surgery. I was against having the surgery from day 1, but agreed to do it over Christmas break since I would be off of work for two weeks any way. In the three weeks leading up to the surgery I took Zyrtec-D, which really helped me to breath better and control my symptoms. I started to think I didn’t need to the surgery any more, but if I went a day without the medicine, I got completely congested again, so I finally gave in and accepted the fact that this was something I needed to do. So eight days ago, last Monday, I went in to the hospital and had the surgery. I was the first case of the day (8am surgery, had to be at the hospital by 6:30am) and it was outpatient surgery, so I was home by 1pm. I had myself pretty worked up and anxious about having this done. Once I was in a gown and hooked up to an IV I started to calm down and accept that this was going to happen. I had never had anesthesia, so I didn’t know what to expect. The whole process was not as bad as I had anticipated. I did read a lot of blogs and did quite a bit of research online prior to the surgery, so I think I was prepared for the worst. I was knocked out and in surgery for about an hour or so. When I came out I had a gauze pad taped under my nose to catch the blood that occasionally oozed from it and I had an ice pack on my forehead. The first thing I thought when I woke up was that my throat was absolutely killing me. This was from the breathing tube they had to insert during the surgery. The first thing I asked for was ice to suck on and while waiting to be discharged I had two popsicles and several cups of ice water. That was really the only pain I felt. They gave me a Percocet and discharged me not long after I came out of recovery. The really surprising thing was that the doctor told me I had the worst case of polyps she had ever seen. The testing I had done in her office prior to the surgery (CT scan and scope up the nose) did not show that I had any polyps, but I think that was because she couldn’t see all the way up into my ethmoid sinuses (the ones between my eyes) with the scope in her office. So she said it was a good thing that I decided to go ahead with the surgery because neither medicine nor time would have ever gotten rid of those polyps. She said I will have to be on a nasal spray to prevent the polyps from coming back after the surgery (I got back 1 week after the surgery for the post-op visit, which is when I’m assuming she will prescribe a nasal spray for me). I will also need to take allergy medication as needed to control my allergies. She said that she didn’t have to put those plastic splints or packing up my nose. She was able to use gelfilm splints. She sent me home with three prescriptions: 1) a steroid, which I’d be on for 6 days; 2) Percocet (which I only took that first day, then I just switched to Tylenol Extra Strength because the pain wasn’t that bad, and 3) an antibiotic to prevent infection. I was also instructed to rinse my nose with saline 4 – 5 times a day and to use Afrin (which they gave me at the hospital) twice a day (two sprays in each nostril) for 3 days after the surgery. I figured that I would sleep the whole rest of that first day, but my throat hurt so bad I could not sleep. I basically just sat propped up in bed or on the couch the whole rest of the day, eating popsicles and drinking lots of cold fluids. Towards the end of the day I took a couple of cough drops and ate some yogurt, which seemed to really help my throat. I barely slept that first night because I was breathing out of my mouth (since I still had that gauze pad under my nose), which hurt my throat and totally dried out my mouth and I had to sleep sitting up. By the next morning my nose had stopped oozing blood and I was able to remove the gauze pad and breathe a little out of my nose. I did have a dizzy spell when I first got up the next morning. I learned that I would need to drink something sugary and eat a little something before getting out of bed each morning. I was able to eat normally by the second day. I also had someone come and “babysit” me for the first couple days after the surgery because I was dizzy and afraid I would fall. My throat actually felt 100% better by the second day and I really had no pain. Some slight aching around my eyes and my nose once in a while. Using ice and taking the Tylenol really helped. Tuesday and Wednesday night (days 2 and 3) I did have quite a bit of bloody mucus dripping down the back of my throat. I think this was what was making me feel nauseous. Right before going to bed Tuesday and Wednesday night I felt a big mucus ball going down my throat and spit it out. It was a medium sized blood clot. I took this a good sign that things were starting to clot and heal. By Thursday I was feeling much better overall all and starting to get my energy back, but was having a little more pain in my face. I just got more aggressive with icing and it helped. I did take a Percocet on Thursday night (Day 4) to help me be able to go to sleep and on Friday (Day 5), was feeling way better. On day 7, yesterday, I had the gelfilm splints removed at the doctor’s office. It was uncomfortable, but it really got rid of all the congestion and I was allowed to finally blow my nose after that! I was told to continue to do the saline rinses and I have to use a nasal spray before I got to be every night (Rhinocort). I have a follow up appointment in 3 weeks. Today is day 8 and I am feeling really good. I would recommend the surgery if you are having persistent sinus issues. I suffered for six months with this one infection and was against this surgery, but now that I know that I had polyps, I would have done it sooner. I think the pain involved is much less than I anticipated and I can finally breathe out of my nose.

  55. Rick Barney Says:

    I’m interested to find out how the balloon worked for those that have had it done. I have had 4 surguries so far. First one was to straighten my septum and remove pollyps back in 1999. After that I was infected within 2 weeks and back in surgury 2 months later. They cut me open by my Eye/Nose to clean things out. I was good for about a year, rotated through various antibiotics for a year including an IV drip. Had another drill shoved through using 3D imaging. About 8 years ago I had my 4th round under the knife. The dr cut me open on the previous scar again and cut away the septum between the two sinuses above my Eye and also the floor out of my left sinus cavity behind my Eye. All was good until November 2010 when a brutal headache settled in. I was on a month of antibiotics 1x a day (Biaxin) then switched to 10 days of Levaquin. I have been Anitiotic Free for 6 days and feel decent other than my head is plugged. Last time I had problems I had the sort throat, Fatigue, bad breath, etc. Anyhow, Dr wants to shove the balloon up and if that doesn’t take care of it next time he’ll cut pretty much everything out of my upper sinuses which sounds bad to me.

    I’m thinking I would rather he goes in through previous scar again…I had good success with it this last time…lets do it again. Anyone have any advice?

  56. George Says:

    Obviously ENTs are the most retarded and pathetic of all MDs out there. Still in the dark ages they subject you poor bastards to hell on earth. God help us all with these clueless doctors. Surgery for sinuses is 20 years behind other surgeries.

  57. jake Says:

    i just recently had balloon sinuplasty done 2 weeks ago and was a alittle sore. They left the ballon catheter in and i cant get it out for another 3 weeks. I have been have tension headaches every day since my surgery. Is anyone else having these problems??

  58. Mark Says:

    I had ballon sinuplasty on June 16. My nose seems noticeably clearer for normal breathing, but something feels congested deeper within. I’m doing the rinse thing and my doc prescribed Flonase. Someone asked about the healing process post balloon sinuplasty, up to 6 months down the road. If you’ve specifically had balloon sinuplasty, please share your recovery story through the months that followed. Did you experience post-surgery congestion? Has it improved? These are really helpful for those looking to understand the process. Thanks in advance!

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  60. jean Says:

    On 10/20/2011 I had Sinus Surgery (all Sinuses cleaned out ).2 Polyps removed and deviated Septum straightent .Surgery was 4 Hours.I couldn’t go home until the next Day .NO HEADACHE ,NO PAIN what so ever .Stuffy Nose normal for this Surgery .But nothing to be removed .The body will abssorb it .

  61. mobby Says:

    ok so i really dont know what kind of a surgery i went through but it is the 3rd day on .. there is no body pain … just some pain or pressure around the left eye … i dont know whats the reason …i asked my doc but he was like these are after effects .. gave nothing much in detail… the discomfort / pan is just above the left eye maybe i should say on the eyeball … right side is ok .. no pressure or pain .. lets see what elese happens … i am taking 10mg of steroid (pepsidcone i guess) after breakfast in the morning .. salt rinse 4 times a day … antibiotic at 5pm in the evening .. anf nasonex 2 puffs thrice a day … havent been able to sleep properly however … yes .. thats been the worse part … i havent been able to get a sound sleep … will update you further after meeting the doc this time …

    • keith Says:

      I recently had sinus surgery. Tirbinates reduced, sinoplasty, septoplasty, deviated septum repaired etc. Took 4 hours and a lot of pain post surgery. Thankfully no nausea! After about 3 to 4 weeks and all the scraping and healing I could finally breathe for the first time in years. Now 4 months later all my symptoms are reoccurring. Constant sturdy nose, cant breaths except thru my mouth, trouble sleeping. I’m so frustrated! What can I do? I have a family to support and cant afford another 3 weeks off for another surgery.

  62. Seema Says:

    This blog has been very helpful. I had my sinus surgery on Jan 13th, to remove polyps, intense pain and pressure the first
    few days, but is better now with prednisone. The new dissolvable packing is much better, it seems, had it removed today. I am really concerned about the voice sounding so nasal, Please let me know if anyone noticed this change and would this voice change eventually settle down or it can permanently become more nasal. With sinus cavities enlarged is the voice affected. My headaches havn’t resolved at all but am hoping after a few weeks they get better.

    • Joe W Says:

      I must say that it took almost a year for my sinuses to stabilize to a point that I could confidently say what the final result was. I must say, it is pretty awesome. My sinuses are now a small occasional bother when they used to be a 24/7 torment. They would be perfect but I had a facial trauma on one side, which affected my sinus and continues to on that side. The surgeon noted that he could see metal and bone in my sinus… how nice. re: to the previous poster, my voice didn’t normalize for about a month I’d guess. Remember, the final outcome will not be seen for some time. Your sinuses are healing from surgery.

  63. Chris Says:

    You are lucky you did not have surgery in the 60’s. I had a five day stay in the hospital and alot of pain. After splints were taken out I had to have the nurse actualy hold me down in bed so the doctor could could run the wire with cotton on the end to clear the nose so he could see how things were. You really had be held down or he could have not completed what the doctor had to do. It is so much better today then it was years ago.

  64. Maddison Says:

    How long after sinus surgery does your sense of smell return? I had my surgery on feb7th, and my splints removed on the 13th.

  65. Sharon Says:

    I had my nose broken by a softball (oops, missed it) 28 years ago. Back then doc said don’t worry about it, adds character. But with my husband of 22 years threatening separation (of bedrooms) and constant sinus infections, I slid under the knife 3 days ago. Had my septum repaired and my sinuses roto-rootered. All I have to say is what the heck is up with the plastic stents? I can’t touch any where around my nose without wanting to pass out. My best friend told me I look like one of the Dr. Seuss characters. And after blowing my nose several times a day for over 20 years I really miss it. Hoping in two days I’ll get rid of the plastic. I can already breathe better and my hubby says I can stay in the same room for a while longer.

  66. jay Says:

    does anyone know if they put in a urine catheter if you’re having sinus surgery? just curious.

  67. Rick Barney Says:

    Hey, just stumbled across this site again. Last year around this time I had the balloon procedure…didn’t work. They went in a couple of months later to try and touc things up…didn’t work. December 2nd I had a 3rd try last year…didn’t work. Basically my dr was trying to open up the drainage above my left eye. I think it was so scarred up there wasn’t any hope for it to stay open for too long. He had also opened up the septum between the left/right sinus cavity. My Dr had done that with a procedure back in 2002 and it worked fantastically. None of the 3 attempts last year were successeful. MMy Dr sent me to Mayo in Rochester for a 2nd opinion in February of this year and they suggested the frontal drillout. I had that procedure done on March 16th (I know, I missed the green beer right). Anyhow, it’s less than a week and I’m still dealing with swelling and a fairly irritating headache. I’m hoping as the healing continues this fixes my situation for a while. I guess we’ll see. I think the balloon would have worked for me if it was before all of the scarring happened. Best of luck to anyone going in to get anything fixed.

  68. Sharon Says:

    ENTs are an interesting breed. After 6 months of chronic sinus infections I found an ENT to determine what was wrong. This guy never touched my nose, never looked at it or anything. They did take a CT scan which I guess was all he needed to know what was wrong. I had huge turbinates, some bony blockages and a lot of infection which antibiotics were not clearing. After seeing the CT scan and having it explained to me I knew all I needed to at that point. He suggested endoscopic sinus surgery to correct all my issues.

    I just had endoscopic sinus surgery on 3/28/12 (11 days ago). Surgery with no packing was not as bad as I expected. I had not read this blog before and was glad I had not as I think it helped being positive and going into the surgery with the hope that it would take care of my problems instead of looking for problems and post surgery issues before they existed. Just me.

    I am claustrophobic so luckily my post surgery bleeding was not very bad. I got sick from swallowing too much blood at the surgery center twice and once at home. No more nausea. Throat hurt really bad for the first 4 days from being intubated. I spent the first 10 days and nights sitting up on the couch so my head was elevated and I could breathe. Pain was not bad although teeth pain has been bad for me. I rinse like it’s going out of style and am actually getting tired of all the discoveries made every time I rinse. Hope that clears up soon.

    I went to work on the 6th day after surgery b/c I felt darn good but tired easily. Went back on Tuesday and started feeling sick with sore throat, congestion, fatigue, chills and was back out of work on Wed. Called the doc they said this was normal. Was out of work Wed-Fri. Had my first FU at the ENT Friday. He did some cleaning which was tolerable tho he hit some tender spots (for to congestion that had collected since surgery but had not flushed out). Doc thinks I caught a viral infection after surgery which caused me to feel so bad last week. On 2nd round of antibiotics and he put me on light steriods to help with inflammation.

    Starting to get some smelling sense back although the stuff in my nose doesn’t smell real pleasant just yet. Sense of taste is very slow coming back. Good for the diet. Have had some heachaches but nothing that couldn’t be controlled by Tylenol.

    Overall not the worst experience I’ve ever had. It’s just very uncomfortable because the problem is smack dab in the middle of your face and not going anywhere. I think this surgery will work for me. I had very minimal breathing capacity in my nose before (b/c of turbinates, bony blockages, infection) and the doc said the surgery would increase my breathing capacity by 800%. I think he was right and can breathe a lot better already. Will try to post again a few weeks out.

    Thanks for the posts. It has been a comfort and has made me feel very fortunate. Best of luck to all who are recovering and who plan to have surgery. Take it slow and take care of yourself.

  69. josh Says:

    hi im 26,i had a deviated sectum which lead to a cronic sinusitus problem which every day i fought with fatigue and nasal drip and yellow and green mucus,so dr moody from uams hospital done the diveated surgery 1 1/2 years ago i was clear of sinus infections for almost a yaer straight i hardly would ever snezz,until the past 5 or 6 months i again started feeling very bad sinus problems to the point agmenton antibiotic wanted even touch it which is one of the most strontgest intibotic,anwayz what help me out was was i bought a blender and bought broccli coliflower oranges blueberrys strawberrys and blended them up and drank it every day which kept my immun system very strong !!! i notice i wasnt sick as much in bed !!! anyways i went to adiffrent ENT doctor and he looked at my sinus afther CT SCAN and said your going to need surgery!!! antibioctics isnt going to fix that allyour sinuses are infected so 2 weeks later i had the surgery which was yesterday there was 3 types of surgerys performed at one i cant pernonce the names but they had to remove small bones and use balloms to upen air way up anyways i woke up straight from surgery holding my right eye the pain was beyond crazy no pain meds would take it away i was in bad pain!!!! it felt like my eye was cut by a knife my surgical dr said it must be from the prep soap your ok!!! i said no im not,they were ready to send me home ,afther me seting there crying for over a hour around 4 oclock they sent me downstairs to er and by them my pain was very bad they gave me pain meds and nothing would take it away,,the nurses kept saying it will wash out its soap..they done a etc eye test with dye and seens i had a scratch across my eye from surgery..can i file a law suit i can see that good from distance

  70. Gen Marn Says:

    Sinus issues are due to fungus and anyone with problems should NOT be taking antibiotics but Diflucan which is a fungus killer. Had a cat scan and my head was filled with fungus. They told me antibiotics increase fungus and Nistatin helps so much. Had sinus surgery a week ago when I had some metal plates removed from my jaw that were infected. Plates were in there for 20 years and my whole face blew up like a balloon. Nistatin is the only thing that offers any relief. Eating sugar only increases fungus so to totally get rid of sinus trouble; one must eat all low carbs for months and get rid of junk food. Probiotics help too. Check out Know the Cause website for more on fungus.

  71. Richard Says:

    This question may not be a question that may be of every day doctor. My question is that i was playing with my nose a couple of days ago. And I would be streching it all over up down side to side i guess wanted to get rid of my runny nose and ended up with a small amount of streched skin on both nostrils is there a doctor that i could go to without getting any other treament like surgery. i feel because what i did to my nose i feel with low self esteem doctor. whether im out in the community or inside the house. i will appreciated very much doctor if you could help me with my situation. thankyou.

  72. Austyn Says:

    I have had 3 surgeries and about to have my 4th. Had massive haemorrhage after 2nd one, nearly died. Have also got bronchiectasis which is a lung condition often associated with sinus issues. What fun…..

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  74. Barbara Blake Says:

    Hi, just went thru sinus surgery myself and it has been 4 weeks now. It turns out I had a fungus in my sinus when they thought I had a polyp or a tumor. He removed the fungus and told me it was from antibiotics. I have had several cases of bronchitis and sinus problems for the last year and was on many antibiotics during that time. He said he had this before in patients, so I didn’t feel too much like a freak! I seem to be on the mend, but my nose itches a bunch and drives me crazy! I can breathe better that I have been able to in years, he fixed my deviated septum too. Nice to read others that have had to go through similar crap and that is what it is crap!

    • Alan Says:

      Hi, I had sinus surgery for a giant nasal wart on July 29th I am a singer and was singing again 8 days after surgery but the last few weeks i have had chronic hoarceness and drainage ENT said both sinuses looked better this was 2 months out from the surgery, still I don’t always taste my food is this normal? but I am very fearful of this horaceness problem I can get through my shows but will this ever get better/ i did have a slight deviated septum on the other side but didn’t have him correct that, He thought the drainage may have been causing the problem? but wasn’t sure why he said my vocal cords were fine other then a little drainage theres more but any advice would be helpful he also didn’t see any evidence of ‘ silent reflux’ I have acid reflux and am on med’s AND had surgery in 2000 for it any chance this may be the cause?

      • Barbara Blake Says:

        I have had hoarseness too since the surgery but have attributed it to allergies. I don’t know what part of the country you live in, but the mold has been bad here all summer and still into fall. I use a saline spray at least three times a day and that seems to help, plus I take allergy medication. I have reflux too and have cut back on caffeine and because of that have been able to get off the Nexium. It seems you just have to try what works best for you and if nothing else, sometimes a hoarse voice can add texture to singing! lol Good luck and keep on seeing your doctor or allergist!

  75. Caden Says:

    Hi all. I’m a 28 year old male. Go in for sinus surgery on october 28th. My question is do they always give you pain meds? I am willing to admit I have a low pain tolerance. Also do you throw up blood? The only surgery I’ve had was a tonsilectomy and the dr assured me it was a piece of cake and it was HORRIBLE! I’m having a septoplasty. Reduction of turbinates. A polyp removed amd something done to my maxillary sinuses. Any replies would be appreciated. Thanks!

  76. Barbara Blake Says:

    I was offered pain medication, but just took Tylenol Extra Strength and did fine. I don’t like to take too many meds if I can help it. I was sick, mostly from the anesthesia and did lose my cookies along the road on the way back home. I won’t lie and tell you it is a walk in the park, but 4 months have passed since my surgery and I am so much better for it. I can breathe and am not sick all of the time. Just take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal. This is an excuse to be lazy and let others pick up the load. You will be fine. Good luck!

  77. Now this is in actual fact cooperative. It’s very openhanded of you to share this with us.

  78. Mike Says:

    8 days ago I just had 4 procedures done in one surgery. A little over 4.5 hours. This is, from what I was told not a normal sinus surgery, but more of a deluxe package. My entire left-side was reconstructed, from my forehead on down and I had splints on top of splints and stitches inside and out. All in all, the most painful aspect was the diarrhea from the medication caused by the steroids. Passing pure bile is not a fun thing to do and to do it for 2 days is the most painful event I have ever experienced. I’m still healing from the scalding acids and enzymes. I was lucky, and my nasal cavity was not packed (ancient way) with gauze. My septum was completely removed and re-sewn so it was exactly centered now. That part is still swollen and painful, but tolerable. 8 days later, still tender, I can blow my nose a little, I can breath with ease, in fact, the air burns going up and out of my cavities, where I haven’t felt air in 38 years. I sleep breathing through my nose (new for me) and I sleep peacefully. No scabbing, bleeding or anything. My first check-up, they couldn’t even find any clots, snot or otherwise. It’s healing perfectly. I love it and had I known this earlier in my life, I would have gotten done in my 20’s. I’m 50 now and it is worth every penny and pain. Everyone is different and their thresholds for pain greatly vary as does their healing capabilities. You can’t go by one persons experience or even a dozen. Everyone is different and surgeries are also different. They do make for great stories though. I would do it again. My sinus issue was more chronic than all the pain associated with this surgery. No more headaches, I can breath through both nostrils, my sinuses are functioning properly, etc. Perfecto.

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  80. Joni Says:

    They sure make it seem like a walk in the park that was the most painful thing I have ever done and I have 2 kids! It’s been 3 weeks today and I am now feeling a bit better however if I had known how awful it was I think I might have lived with my problem.

  81. Joe T. Says:


    I was in a similar scenario as you and had a second surgery a few months ago, but found a doctor that didn’t believe in the balloon sinus surgery or packing. It has been almost six months and I feel so much better than I did before.

    I read up and dug into so many doctors and found Dr. Bennett in NY to have a great track ready, really open about his views and whether he thought he could meet my expectations.

    For anyone like me that comes across this site from digging for a sinus surgeon I would ask you to at least check him out.

    I think this is his new site.


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  90. I hate it. Doc says that will go away in 2-3 months. Anybody else experienced the voice change?visit us

  91. When I read this story I realized just how similar it was to my condition.

    Years ago, I was so desperate to get rid of a large polyp that was completely blocking my nostril that I ended up getting surgery. It was one of the most distressing procedures I had ever experienced, not to mention the ugly scars it left me.

    At least the polyp was gone…or so I thought.

    A month later the nasal polyps were back in not just one nostril, but in both nostrils! My doctor told me not too worry, that this was totally normal and that I would just need to get another surgery or use steroid sprays every day for the rest of my life.

    I knew that there had to be another way. I searched long and hard and finally came across some simple natural remedies that finally made the nasal polyps disappear for good…to the amazement of my doctor.

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