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Sinus Surgery: Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) Post-Surgery Advice

​What is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)?

A functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is a minimally invasive surgery of the nose which relieves sinus obstructions by enlarging the sinus pathways to facilitate drainage. It helps to treat sinus problems and restore functions of the nose and sinuses.
The surgery is performed through the nose using an endoscope, a lighted tube with a camera at the end, which enables the surgeon to have a clear view of the nose and sinuses as surgery is performed.

What Should I Take Note of After the Surgery?

The following instructions provide general information and advice regarding care after the procedure. Taking these precautions may help to reduce risks and complications.


  • You may resume a regular diet after discharge if you no longer experience nausea or vomiting from the anaesthesia.
  • Avoid hot drinks or food for one week (i.e. Stick to a cool diet).

Wound Care

  • Nasal packing may be required, depending on the amount of bleeding. It will be removed in the afternoon of surgery or the next morning.
  • Avoid running hot water onto your face during shower for one week.
  • DO NOT blow nose (dab if necessary) or sneeze for 10 days. If you are unable to stop sneezing or coughing, ensure your mouth is wide open while sneezing or coughing.
  • DO NOT lie on or bump your nose.
  • Expect blood-stained nasal discharge for one to two weeks post-surgery.

If bleeding starts again:

  • Sit upright with head over a bowl.
  • Apply icepacks to nose and back of neck.
  • If bleeding persists, please seek immediate medical attention at the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital.

Pain Management

  • You only need to take the prescribed pain medications when you experience pain and discomfort. Otherwise, you are not required to take them everyday.
  • Please stop the medications if signs of allergic reaction (skin rashes, breathing difficulty, swollen eyes or lips or face) are observed.
  • Post-operation pain may require an injection to relieve, but is usually mild by the next day.
  • The degree of pain and headache varies and can be unpredictable.


  • Do not go to work, school or any crowded places for one week.
  • You should not engage in heavy lifting or straining for two weeks after discharge.
  • Sitting in a chair/bed for the first 3-4 days is recommended. Thereafter, take short walks regularly.
  • As you will swallow some blood after the operation, you may experience nausea and sometimes vomiting of old blood on the first day post-surgery.

What Types of Special Care do I Need to Take?

You may need to take or administer the following, as instructed by your healthcare team:

  • Nasal douching
  • Nasal ointment
  • Antibiotics

* Do not take Aspirin or Aspirin-related medication for 3 weeks post-surgery

When and Where Should I Seek Medical Attention?

You should seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • If you feel sick and notice fresh blood at the wound site upon waking up
  • Persistent pain not relieved by medication
  • Fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius

If you experience any of the above, please contact TTSH ENT Clinic 1B at 63578007 for an earlier appointment, during office hours:
Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm
Saturday: 8am – 12 noon
Sunday & Public Holiday: Closed

After office hours, you are advised to seek medical attention at the Emergency Department, Basement 1, TTSH.
You may also choose to go to your nearest polyclinic or family doctor.

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