Is Significant (And Worsening) Pain Normal One Week After Uneventful Septoplasty and Ethmoidectomy? (photo)

I had a revision septoplasty and ethmoidectomy. Everything went as planned, save for the bruise that appeared across the bridge of my nose and down the right side. The pain/swelling initially seemed similar to my original surgery where it felt like a really bad sinus infection. One week later, I have significant sharp pain through the bridge of my nose, tracking upward between my eyes. My right side seems to be completely clear; left side is fairly congested. No packing/splints. Thoughts?

Doctor Answers 2

Worsening pain after septoplasty/sinus surgery

I would be concerned about a blood collection in the septum (septal hematoma).  These sometimes can become infected and rarely can spread to deeper veins surrounding the pituitary gland (cavernous sinus thrombosis).  The other possibility would be an infection in the ethmoidectomy especially if the ethmoidectomy was incomplete, there is residual packing, or involvement of other sinuses such as the frontal and sphenoid.  Endoscopic care is important to remove blood and organizing secretions from the surgical site and should be able to determine if there is infection.  It the swelling continues particularly if the eye blood vessels enlarge or the eye itself begins to swell seek immediate attention.  Dr. Loury

Fort Collins Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Sinus surgery and septoplasty pain


I would go see your surgeon sooner rather than later.  It may be the start of an infection or a collection of blood between the flaps of the septoplasty.  This is especially because there were no problems until a week after surgery.  If it is an infection, you don't want it to spread to your eyes.


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

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