Following a turbinate reduction surgery, analgesic medication will be prescribed. However, it is not mandatory and many patients will obtain satisfactory relief with acetaminophen (Tylenol). It is best to take medications preventively rather than waiting for the pain to set in and become intolerable. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, (Advil, Motrin or naproxen). Also avoid vitamin supplements and natural products in the first week because they can interfere with blood clotting and cause bleeding. Pain is usually present 2-3 days after surgery and disappears quickly after. Tell your surgeon if the pain remains intense and does not go away after this period.
Nasal irrigation with salty water
It is recommended to use a nasal saline solution (Salinex, Hydrasense) four times daily for a period of three weeks with 2 sprays per nostril in each treatment. The saline solution allows to gently remove debris and blood clots and keeps the nasal cavity clean during the healing process. Also, mucosal hydration will provide an ideal environment for a faster healing.
A nasal decongestant like Dristan or Otrivin (oxymetazoline) reduces the mucosal oedema and helps to breathe through the nose during healing. This will also reduce postoperative bleeding during the first 48 hours. The use of this medication is recommended for a maximum of three days. In case of postoperative bleeding, spray with an oxymetazoline solution twice in the affected nostril. Repeat up to five times at a rate of two sprays each time with a five minute interval between each treatment until the bleeding has significantly decreased. Bleeding often occurs in the posterior region of the nasal cavity and therefore simply pinching the nose will not stop the bleeding. Lean head slightly forward to prevent blood from flowing down the throat and put a wet towel under the nose to absorb the blood.
Lying down for long periods is not recommended after surgery. Walk for a few minutes at least three to four times per day. Avoid strenuous activities for about a week following the intervention. More intense activities may cause more postoperative bleeding and oedema and increase discomfort associated with surgery.
For any other questions, look in the post-operative care and question-answer sections on our website. If you do not find the appropriate answers to your questions or if your problem is urgent, contact your surgeon.