Had Septoplasy and reduce turbinates surgery three weeks ago. I researched the procedure and read many testimonials prior to having the surgery. I was expecting a little pain/discomfort and a full recovery time of 7-10 days tops. Most of the first-hand accounts I read were for people that did not other issues, such as moderate/severe allergies and/or asthma/breathing issues. I wasn’t prepared for the pain or the recovery time. I was in immense pain when waking up from the surgery. Everything from the neck up hurt. Ears, eyes, teeth, jaw, nose, my chest also hurt ~ probably from the anesthesia. It was about the same pain threshold as having gallstones stuck in your bile duct. Sadly for me, I woke up a few minutes after the other person the nurse was treating. After about 15 minutes, she finally gave me some pain medication. Then after about 30 – 40 minute, she removed the packing. I expected this to be horrifyingly painful. In reality, everything already hurt so much it was barely noticeable.
There was quite a bit of blood that came out with the packing. Within 5 minutes both sides of my nose swelled shut and there was barely a trickle of blood after that. Needless to say, I could not breathe out of my nose. I was moved to a second recovery room. I ate a few crackers and was given more pain medication and they started icing my very swollen face and nose. The ice felt really good. About another hour passed and I went home, with prescriptions for pain medication, antibiotics, saline spray and given a bottle of Afrin. I was told to take the Afrin for the first 3 days, to clear the nasal passages ~ it did nothing. My pain level was still quite high. My face and nose was very swollen, I continued to ice for the next 24 hours and take the pain medication as frequently as allowed. I couldn’t sleep due to the combination of pain and lack of breathing ability with nose swollen shut and throat raw and swollen. The next day, still in a lot of pain and nose still completely swollen shut. Called ENT surgeon he prescribed steroids to help with the swelling.
Around day 5, I was able to stop taking the Norco. Quite a bit of the external swelling had gone down, still wasn’t able to sleep and nose still completely swollen shut. Day 7 went to the ENT surgeon to have nose cleaned out. He sprayed a lot of Afrin in my nose to attempt to open it up and clean it out. He wasn’t able to do much due because of the soft tissue swelling. He was happy with the surgery, but said people with moderate/severe allergies and/or asthma can have hypersensitive tissue and much longer recovery times than normal. I fit into both categories and my tissues are definitely hypersensitive. He said I would just need to be patient it would get better. He gave me some nasal spray for my allergies (different than my normal prescription that I hadn’t been able to take) and said I could start taking it immediately and it should help. About 10 minutes after leaving the doctor’s office my nose was swollen completely shut again. A few hours later, I was at home on the floor crying in pain. Everything had started to hurt and was extremely painful again, eyes, ears, nose, teeth. I also got a migraine with auras. I’ve struggled with headaches my entire life, never have seen auras. My boyfriend wanted to take me to the hospital but I refused to move.
Pain receded to a manageable level over the weekend, swelling did not. On Wednesday, my lymph nodes on my left side started to swell up and become painful. I went back to the ENT on Thursday morning. He was quite concerned that my nose was still completely swollen shut and didn’t know why all my lymph nodes were swollen and hurting. He didn’t understand the reaction, it was more than just hypersensitive tissue. He prescribed round 2 of steroids and antibiotics. By Friday night some of the swelling went down in my nose and lymph nodes. On Saturday, I finally felt like I could breathe and had a little energy. By Sunday night some of the swelling had come back and I was exhausted, but still a huge improvement. I was tired but ok on Monday.
Tuesday afternoon, at first I thought I was having an allergic reaction. Started coughing and sneezing, nose swelled back up, lymph nodes swelled back up. I had work meetings on Wednesday so went back to ENT on Thursday morning. He was able to open up the passageways with a lot of Afrin and this time was able to clean out my nose. He was still unhappy with the amount of swelling, called it “phenomenal”. Doesn’t understand why my lymph nodes are swelling up on the left side. I had developed a sinus and double ear infection. He said can’t do another round of steroids, but wants me to stay on antibiotics for the sinus infection. Also, said I can finally take my regular prescription nasal spray for my allergies. Thinks there might be some type of blood build up in my nose, but it seems to be going down so wants to wait and see. He wants me to stay in touch and let him know immediately if anything gets worse and come right in.
I have a follow up in a week. I’ve been exhausted and had some degree of headache/earaches since the surgery. One of the reason, I wanted to have the surgery was as an attempt to get rid of the daily headaches and constant sinus ear infections. I’m pretty frustrated right now. It’s the holidays and I have been miserable and exhausted for the last 2 weeks, and was completely out of commission for the first week. I’m not healing as expected and the surgeon seems stumped. I think a large part of my problems have been because I could not take my regular prescriptions for my allergies the day of the surgery and the nasal spray until almost 3 weeks after. I currently take: Cingular, Semprex-D and Dymista to control my allergies. I was able to take the Cingular and Semprex-D after the surgery but not the Dymista. I really hope this surgery turns out to be worth it in the long run.