Clear fluid dripping after sinus surgery. Is this normal?

I had sinus surgery 6 days ago. On day 5 I began having clear discharge from my nose at a near constant. I went to my dr and he does not think it's CSF fluid and said that it is the turbinates secreting from being shaved down. Is this normal? I'm still worried

Doctor Answers 2

Clear rhinorrhea

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In my experience CSF rhinorrhea usually occurs immediately after surgery and is usually not delayed.  CSF rhinorrhea is also more like a drippy faucet.  It is not thick or mucoid.  I would address it again with your doctor.

Spinal Fluid leak

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I appreciate your concern. If the clear fluid is just from one side then it's a spinal fluid leak until proven otherwise. If it's from both sides the likelihood is less. Obtain about 2.5-5ml and test it for beta-2-transferrin. It is unlikely to be from turbinate reduction but may be from salt water rinsing. Happy thanksgiving!

Mark Loury, MD, FACS
Fort Collins Facial Plastic Surgeon

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