Caring for Your Child after Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
What is it?
Endoscopic sinus surgery uses telescopes
through the nose to open the drainage
pathways of the sinuses that are obstructed.
Enlarging these natural drainage
pathways of the sinuses helps prevent sinus
blockage that can lead to chronic infections.
What to Expect
After endoscopic sinus surgery, there is
some material placed in the sinus cavities
that will dissolve inside your child's nose.
This will help to assure proper healing. Your
child will have a little blood-tinged drainage
from the nose and may wear a small dressing
under the nose. Doing too much activity too
soon may increase the amount of drainage.
A stuffy nose may last for a few weeks as
the sinuses heal. Pain varies from child to
child but it is more often an ache in the nose
and sinus areas rather than sharp pain.
What to Do after Surgery
Learning to care for your child is a vital part
of your child's healing. These steps may
guide you during your child's first days.
1. Your child may feel sick to their
stomach from the anesthesia. Begin
with clear liquids and advance to solid
food as your child is able to handle it.
2. Your child may sleep with their head
on 2 to 3 pillows for the next week or
so if this makes them more
3. Cold packs to the nose and sinus areas
may help give extra comfort. Apply
the pack every 3 or 4 hours for 20 to
30 minutes as needed. They work best
if used during the first 48 hours after
you go home.
4. Be sure your child takes all of the
antibiotics prescribed to help prevent
5. If told to do so, use the steroid nasal
spray to help decrease inflammation.
6. Start/re-start nasal saline mist or spray
when advised to do so by your doctor.
7. Your child should drink a lot of water
and other fluids.
8. A vaporizer or humidifier at your
child's bedside may help increase
drainage from the sinuses. An
ultrasonic or cool-type are the best.
Be sure to clean the machine often
using the manufacturer's directions.
9. Pain medicine will be ordered to help
lessen the pain. If you are giving your
child plain Tylenol , be sure the dose
you give is correct for your child's
weight. Do not give your child
aspirin, ibuprofen, naprosyn, or
medicines, which contain these drugs
(Pediaprofen , Children's Motrin ,
Advil , or Aleve ) as they may
increase chances of bleeding, until
OK’d by your doctor.
10. A clinic visit will be scheduled for
your child in about 4 weeks.
Cautions and Restrictions after Surgery
1. No nose blowing for 1-2 weeks as
advised by your doctor. This could
2. Do not hold back a sneeze. If your
child sneezes, have them do so with
their mouth open.
3. No competitive sports, running, hard
biking, exercising, swimming, or
aerobics for 1-2 weeks. Your doctor
will discuss with you when your child
may resume their normal activities and
4. If your child gets a bloody nose doing
any activity, please have them stop and
5. Your child may return to school when
they feel up to it, often within 2 to 3
6. Your child should not bend over and
pick up heavy objects off the floor for
7. Do not give decongestants or
antihistamines unless prescribed by
8. Keep your child away from cigarette
smoke and noxious fumes that may
irritate the nose.
9. Avoid air travel for a few weeks to
avoid pressure changes and the drying
effects of airplane air.
When to Call the Doctor or Clinic Nurse
- Once in a while, the dissolvable
packing material will come out of
the nose before it completely
dissolves. Call your doctor or the
clinic and let the nurse know if
you are concerned. No treatment
- Vision problems (loss of vision,
double vision, eye pain).
- Neck stiffness (your child not able
to touch his or her chin to the
chest) along with fever, severe
headache, and tiredness.
- A fever over 102° regardless of
the method used to take
- Severe bleeding from the nose.
- Pain not relieved by medicines.
If you have any questions or concerns when
at home please call:
Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT) Clinic
(608) 265-7760 weekdays from 8:30 am to
After hours and weekends, this number will
give you the paging operator. Ask for the
Otolaryngology (ENT) doctor on call. Give
the operator your name and phone number
with the area code. The doctor will call you
If outside of Madison, call toll-free at: 1-
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©10/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6349.