Wake Physician Practices
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Sinus Surgery

What is functional endoscopic sinus surgery?

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is a procedure in which a surgeon passes a small instrument through your nose to reach your sinuses. Small material such as bone or debris will be removed in an effort to open you sinus cavities.

Prior to the procedure:

  • Do not take any aspirin products for five days before the procedure.
  • Do not take anything by mouth after midnight the night prior to surgery.
  • If you or your child takes medications, talk to the doctor who prescribed the medications about which ones to take and which ones that should not be taken until after the procedure.
  • If you or your child becomes sick up to five days before surgery, please call the ENT office and tell the nurse about your or your child's symptoms.

The day of the procedure:

  • Plan to arrive two hours before your surgery time for pre-operative procedures.
  • The anesthesiologist will discuss types of anesthesia with you and answer any questions you have.
  • You or your child will be taken into the operating room and be given general anesthesia by the anesthesiology team.
  • You will have nasal packing placed during surgery. This stays in your nose until your post-operative appointment.

After the procedure:

  • You or your child will be taken to the recovery room.
  • If your child had the procedure, you will be called back to sit with your child until he/she is fully awake. You may go home at this point. If you had the procedure, someone must be present to drive you home.
  • The surgeon will update you on how the procedure went.
  • At home you or your child may experience pain which can possibly increase on day five.
  • Take pain medications as prescribed.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • The patient needs lots of rest. Adults will not return to work until after the post-operative appointment.
  • Keep your follow-up appointment.

Contact the doctor if you or your child has:

  • A fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Nausea and vomiting that occurs more than three times after the first 12 hours post surgery.
  • A small amount of bleeding limited to one occurrence.

Seek immediate care in the ER for the following:

  • Bleeding that does not stop in five minutes.
  • A large amount of blood on the patient's pillow during the night.
  • Sudden onset of severe pain.

Please call our office at 919-350-1630 during business hours Monday-Thursday, 8 am-5 pm with questions or concerns. After hours or on the weekends, please contact the on-call doctor by calling 919-350-8000 and asking to page the ENT doctor on call.