Recovering from Sinus Surgery: What to Expect

If you’ve been struggling with sinusitis, you know how painful and exhausting the condition can be, with a constant cycle of antibiotics and saline sprays. If your chronic sinusitis is caused by structural issues, sinus surgery can be a great way to prevent further issues. However, the concept of surgery can be scary if you’re not prepared for it. 

Our providers at ENT of New Orleans, with four locations in the Greater New Orleans area, are experts in all matters regarding the ears, nose, and throat. This includes helping people with sinusitis, ear infections, allergies, and other challenges. In this blog, we explain why sinus surgery is sometimes needed and what to expect during the process.

Understanding chronic sinusitis 

Sinus infections are typically acute conditions. After a round of antibiotics, nasal steroids, or saline sprays, the infection usually clears up. However, some people are prone to chronic sinusitis, and their infections can come back repeatedly. 

This can be caused by a number of factors, including sinus passage polyps, an aggressive infection, or an issue with the sinus structures. If your sinusitis can be treated using surgery, your doctor might refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist with experience in sinus surgery. From there, you can begin planning your surgery and recovery. 

What to expect from sinus surgery 

Sinus surgery doesn’t solve an infection itself, but it can solve the structural faults that can leave you vulnerable to infection. Surgery won’t guarantee that you’ll never experience sinusitis again, but it can help prevent further infections and make it easier to breathe. If you have issues with your sense of smell or taste, surgery might fix that, too. 

There are two types of sinus surgery: endoscopy and balloon sinuplasty. 


Endoscopes are thin, flexible tools that can be inserted into various cavities, including the nose. During your endoscopy, your surgeon will locate polyps and structural faults and correct them, which will help open up your sinuses and prevent future infections.

Balloon sinuplasty 

In some cases, balloon sinuplasty is enough to clear out the sinuses and alleviate pressure. During this procedure, a small balloon is inflated inside your sinuses. The balloon pushes on the walls of your sinuses and makes more room, which will help your sinuses drain easier. 

Recovering from sinus surgery

Both endoscopy and balloon sinuplasty are minor surgeries, but they’re still invasive procedures that you need to recover from. After the surgery, your doctor will likely pack your nose with sterile gauze. This will help absorb fluids and protect the area from germs. 

Make sure to sleep with your head raised after sinus surgery, and avoid blowing your nose for a while. If you need to sneeze, open your mouth beforehand. This will help take pressure off of your sinuses and alleviate pain. 

If you need sinus surgery or think you do, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT of New Orleans today.

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