The innovations around sinus surgery have garnered much attention recently. But what’s been lost is the information regarding care taken after the surgeries. Without proper care following a sinus surgery, the risk of scar formation and recurrent diseases increases.
Perhaps, first and foremost, the importance of nasal saline irrigation following surgery cannot be over-emphasized. The rinse helps eliminate old blood, clots and mucous while reducing the formation of crusts and the reduction of scar formation.
SALINE VS. WATER
Nasal irrigation or rinses should be done with saline. However, if you must use water, make sure and use distilled water, or to boil tap water beforehand. Just because it is safe to drink does not necessarily mean it is safe to irrigate with.
Saline is different than water because saline is a physiological and will not cause any unnecessary swelling in the nasal cavity.
Saline can be easily purchased in most pharmacies and many grocery stores. Making your own saline rinse is also very simple. Find some guidelines and instructions from WebMD for some helpful tips.
Sometimes headaches can result from irrigating, so a quick tip can help; warming the saline solution to body temperature can help prevent a cold-induced headache, or otherwise known as the “ice cream brain freeze“.
Saline rinses can be done up to many times a day, as needed. It’s important to note: the timing of when you should start the post-operative saline rinses should be determined by your individual surgeon.
Sinus surgery is meant to help improve upon a chronic infection and eliminate anatomic blockage to help restore physiologic function. There is no surgery that will eliminate nasal allergies.
For those individuals, who do not think that they have allergies, should at least consider an allergy evaluation.
A lot of people get colds; some of these people get sinus infections, but very few people have chronic sinusitis to the extent that they will eventually require sinus surgery.
There is a very strong connection between inhalant allergies and chronic sinusitis. So if you are being considered for sinus surgery and you have never been treated for nasal allergies, you should be at least be evaluated for inhalant allergies.