Your Child's Care after Endoscopic Sinus Surgery with Stent Removal
What to Expect
After endoscopic sinus surgery you can expect a stent inside your child's nose for 2 to 3 weeks to help assure proper healing. This will be removed in a second, minor surgery. Your child will have a very little blood-tinged drainage from the nose and may wear a small dressing under the nose, if you wish. Doing too much too soon may increase the amount of drainage.
Some nasal congestion may last for a few weeks as the sinuses heal. Pain varies from child to child, but it is most often more of an ache in the nose and sinus areas rather than sharp pain.
What to Do After Surgery
Learning to care for your child is an important part of your child's recovery. These steps may guide you during your child's first days.
1. Your child may feel sick to his or her stomach from the anesthesia. Begin with clear liquids and advance to solid foods as your child is able to handle it.
2. Your child may sleep with his head on 2 to 3 pillows for the next week or so if this makes him more comfortable.
3. Cold packs to the nose and sinus areas may help give extra comfort. Apply the packs every 3 or 4 hours for 20 to 30 minutes as needed. They work best if used during the first 48 hours.
4. Be sure your child takes all of the antibiotics prescribed to help prevent infection. The antibiotics should be used until the second surgery and often beyond.
5. Use the steroid nasal spray when instructed to help decrease inflammation.
6. Your child should drink a lot of water and other fluids.
7. 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 on a regular basis according to the manufacturer's directions.
8. Pain medicine will be ordered to help lessen the pain. If giving your child plain Tylenol®, be sure the dose you give is appropriate 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.
9. You need not return to the hospital or clinic until your child has the second surgery. A clinic visit will be scheduled for your child about 3 weeks after the second surgery.
Cautions and Restrictions after Surgery
1. No nose blowing until after the second surgery. This could cause bleeding.
2. Do not hold back a sneeze. If your child sneezes, have him do so with his mouth open.
3. No competitive sports, running, hard biking, exercising, swimming, or aerobics until after the stent is removed. Your doctor will discuss with you when your child may resume her normal activities and sports. This is often within 1 to 2 weeks after the stent is removed.
4. If your child gets a bloody nose doing any activity, please have him stop and rest.
5. Your child may return to school when she feels up to it, usually within 2 to 3 days.
6. Your child should not bend over and pick up heavy objects off the floor until after the second surgery.
7. Do not give decongestants or antihistamines unless prescribed by the doctor.
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 stent will come out before the second surgery. Do not be alarmed! Call your doctor or the clinic, and let the nurse know. No treatment is usually needed. The second surgery is still done so the doctor may see how well the sinuses are healing. This does not cause discomfort to your child.
- 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.
- Severe bleeding from the nose.
- Any fever of 101°F or more.
- Pain not relieved by medicines.
If you have any questions or concerns, call:
- Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT) Clinic at (608) 265-7760 Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 pm.
- After clinic hours, weekends or holidays, call (608) 262-0486. This gives you the paging operator of the hospital. Ask for the ENT doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will return your call.
- If outside Madison, call toll free at 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 03/10/2010
Copyright © 03/10/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4839
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