Sinus Surgery Recovery Tips

Woman With Allergies

When recovering from any type of sinus surgery, it's critical to pay attention to your aftercare recommendations. The first two weeks are crucial for sinus surgery recovery, so pay close attention and you'll be back to breathing normally in no time!

While Dr. Lee at Scottsdale Sinus and Allergy can prescribe medication and offer advice on how to best recover from the operation, it falls to patients to ensure they follow their guidelines and use common sense as they heal.


Week 1

Rest – Relaxation and good, old-fashioned sleep can go a long way on the road to sinus recovery. The goal of this is to allow your sinuses to drain more efficiently during the healing process without risking further infection. Two ways to facilitate this are making sure to sleep in an elevated position and investing in a humidifier. With these changes, you should see a decrease in swelling and any additional congestion.

Symptom Care and Prevention - If you think you're getting a cold or the flu after surgery, take a decongestant as soon as possible. Because your nose will be swollen and painful, you must proceed with caution. For the first 7-10 days, avoid blowing your nose or sniffing too vigorously. Do not put a Kleenex or a handkerchief in your nose; instead, use a drip pad to wipe your nose and remember to change it out as much as possible. Safe drainage is key.


∙ Cleaning and Wound care - Cleaning your nose once packing is removed is essential to avoid infection and keep your nasal passages open. Dr. Lee will suggest a solution for you based on your medical profile and needs. Please avoid using any home remedies for pain relief as these may contain bacteria not suitable for your healing nose.

∙ Adjusting Your Daily Routine – If your nasal cartilage was broken or cut in any way, it’s a good idea to avoid activities that may put you at a higher risk of bumping into your nose. The less weight bearing down on your nose, the better; this includes wearing glasses. Try to opt for contacts while you heal. This will ensure faster healing and more visually pleasing results, as well as staying away from chewy, crunchy, and excessively hot or cold foods.

Week 2

The second week of your post-surgery recovery is similar to the first; however, you will note that your swelling has decreased significantly and that you are feeling less and less congested as the days pass.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS) vs. Balloon Sinuplasty

The main sinusitis treatments at our Arizona sinus and allergy clinic, ESS and Balloon Sinuplasty, are two drastically different approaches to sinus surgery. Accordingly, the recovery from these procedures is different as well.

During ESS, an ENT will permanently remove parts of bone and tissue to regain full use of your once blocked air passageway. The recovery for these operations can range from a couple of weeks to a few months.

Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure completed in just an hour. The latest in sinus treatment, you can typically resume normal activities in about 24-48 hours.

Visit Dr. Brian Lee of Scottsdale Sinus and Allergy for more information on what sinus surgery recovery and lasting sinus relief can look like for you.

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