Sinus infections can happen to anyone — in fact, about 31 million Americans have sinusitis at any given time — but people who have seasonal allergies, polyps, or abnormal nasal structures are especially vulnerable. The common cold is a common culprit, too. Anything that triggers a buildup of mucus in your nasal passages and blocks it there can lead to sinusitis.
Typically caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that settle into the blocked mucus, these infections generally run their courses and go away on their own or with a round of antibiotics.
But some folks struggle with sinusitis that comes back again and again, or chronic sinusitis that lasts for three months or more.
In these cases, it may be time for next-level treatment, such as sinus surgery. If you live in New York, head to Robert A. Guida, MD for unsurpassed care and expertise from our double-board-certified rhinoplasty and plastic surgeon. From our offices in New York City and Staten Island, he performs cutting-edge techniques in a patient-focused environment, including sinus surgery with top-of-the-line technology.
The advantages of image-guided sinus surgery
Only a handful of doctors own their own image-guided sinus fusion surgery machine, and Dr. Guida is one of them.
This technology allows Dr. Guida to perform your nasal surgery with a minimally invasive technique that’s aided by a detailed, high-definition image on a chairside monitor. Using an endoscope — a flexible, narrow instrument with a camera at the tip — to navigate your sinuses, Dr. Guida can make precise repairs.
Compared to traditional sinus surgery, image-guided sinus surgery gives you the benefit of:
- Higher accuracy
- Higher safety
- Preservation of healthy tissues
- Less anesthesia
- Faster recovery
- Lower risks of bleeding and infection
These advantages all add up to a smoother and faster recovery, as well. Here’s what you can expect.
Recovering from sinus surgery
If you had sinus surgery to unblock your nasal passages and prevent future sinus infections, you’re going to be amazed at the results — in a few months.
Meanwhile, you have some recovering to do to make the most of your surgery, allow time for healing, and avoid complications.
Immediately after your surgery
One of the perks of less-invasive, image-guided sinus surgery and advances in anesthesia is that you won’t feel the deep and lingering grogginess that’s characteristic after most surgical procedures. You’ll still feel a little drowsy, and you’ll need someone to drive you home, but you shouldn’t feel overly nauseous.
Don’t be alarmed if you notice some drainage from your nose. You may see a little blood mixed in with some mucus. This is normal for the first day, but stay in close communication with Dr. Guida, and report anything concerning.
Although you had surgery to unstuff your nose, it’s likely that you’ll feel quite congested immediately following your surgery. That's because the procedure itself caused a bit of inflammation. Once healing occurs, the swelling subsides, and you’ll breathe more easily.
Mild headaches are common after sinus surgery due to the inflammation.
Most of our sinus surgery patients happily report they don’t feel much pain after the procedure. If you experience significant discomfort, over-the-counter painkillers may be all you need, but talk to Dr. Guida about what’s best for you to take.
While some surgeons pack the nose after sinus surgery to stop bleeding, Dr. Guida’s technique is much more sophisticated and doesn’t require that uncomfortable step.
The first three weeks after your sinus surgery
Depending on the level of physical activity you do at work, you should plan to take a week or two off. The first week is especially important, and your goal is to facilitate healing, which means lots of rest and no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. If you participate in sports, plan to sit out for 3-4 weeks.
Elevation is one of the keys to keeping inflammation at bay, so when you sleep, prop your head up with a couple of pillows.
Also, you’ll need to resist the urge to blow your nose for at least a week.
During the first few weeks after your sinus surgery, Dr. Guida wants to see you regularly to monitor progress. Expect to come in for follow-up appointments so he can examine your nasal passages and irrigate them if necessary.
Three months to a year after your sinus surgery
Everyone heals at different rates, but you should notice marked improvement as soon as the swelling subsides in a few weeks.
Soon, you’ll realize that you’re breathing better, you have fewer — or no — sinus infections, you no longer snore, and your sleep apnea has improved or disappeared.
If you’ve been suffering from chronic sinusitis and conservative treatments haven't worked, schedule a consultation with one of New York’s best sinus surgery experts. Call or book online today.