Sinus surgery and septoplasty

Hi everyone. I am booked in for sinus surgery and septoplasty. I need to know how long recovery is (I have heard 6 weeks!) And how painful is it getting the packing out? I am going overseas 8 weeks after surgery and don't know if I should cancel operation.

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  • I had sinus surgery with septoplasty about 4 years ago, and although I had some rare completely unrelated complications in relation to the anaesthetic, my sinus/nose recovery was actually very quick. I don't recall the packing removal being very uncomfortable, and I had no lasting discomfort beyond a couple of weeks.

  • I don't think I can help much here. I had a bilateral Caldwell Luc in 1973, and they've since changed where they do the surgery from, I've been told. With a Luc surgery, the cut the whole inside of your upper lip and go into the maxillary sinuses from there, cutting a drainage window in the front of your cheekbones, then sew your upper lip back together inside. This isn't done very often, any more, I gather, except very occasionally on those of us with PCD, whose cilia can't always move the mucus high enough up for the newer surgery's 'window' placement to work for us. You need to know for sure what your doc is planning to do on you. If it's just a septoplasty and no windows, that's a quicker recovery period, usually--and it isn't even always necessary to pack the nose after just a septoplasty; sometimes, they can put internal braces in there that don't show and only need to be in there for a few days, instead.

    When they took the packing out of my nose, they gave me a mild sedative ahead of time, but then, the packing in my case not only was in the nasal passages, but all the way into the sinus cavities, too. It was a fast removal, but I can't say it was painless. However, the pain did pass pretty quickly. Recovery from the Caldwell Luc was within a month, and that was pretty major surgery for back then. Suspect with the newer methods and improvements of surgical techniques that this has shortened considerably. I think you'd be okay to go on your trip, but ask the surgeon or your regular doc.

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