For a routine surgery, the nasal passage is filled with compressible packing or a balloon catheter. This remains in place for up to one week, depending on the extent of the surgery. This is easily removed prior to discharge or in the office if already discharged. Plastic splints are also placed in the nasal passage, and these are removed several weeks after surgery. Once nasal packing is removed, patients are instructed to spray the nasal cavity with saline (salt water) several times a day.
Patients are seen every few weeks initially for endoscopic examination of the nasal cavity and removal of nasal crusts. By three to four months, healing is usually complete and crusting diminishes. Additional follow up depends on the diagnosis, need for additional therapy, and symptoms.
Patients are instructed to avoid activities that increase pressure of spinal fluid inside the head (bending, lifting, straining, nose-blowing) for a month after surgery in order to minimize the risk of a spinal fluid leak. A spinal fluid leak is characterized by the drainage of clear fluid from the nose. If a spinal fluid leak is confirmed, this can be repaired using endoscopic surgical techniques in most cases.
Most patients will notice a decrease in smell and taste for several months following surgery due to decreased air flow through the nose. This will often recover as healing occurs.