Willing to try anything to make this suck less
May 29, 2012 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I just had sinus surgery (probably FESS) a couple of months ago, and it seems to have failed. What next?

I had sinus surgery back in March which seemed to go well at the time. A little over a week after the surgery I got a sinus bleed leading to all sorts of other fun stuff, like more missed work and GERD. In the midst of the post-surgical fun times, I did have a couple of weeks without the irritating little cough that's been my constant companion for almost a year. In spite of everything that happened after the surgery, it was a joy just to be able to sit quietly without coughing every five to ten seconds.

Well, that's come to a crashing halt. The sinus pressure, the drainage, and the cough are all back. It seems like the drainage is only on the side where the sinus bleed happened. I saw the ENT who did the surgery, who switched up my nasal sprays and antihistimines some more (to no avail) and said that the sidedness of this problem didn't indicate anything.

I've been referred to an allergist and will be going in mid-June. The problem is that I need to be better fast. I've got a conference next week that I can't miss, a business trip the week after that I also can't miss, and on the week after that I fly to London for my first vacation in 6 years.

I desperately want to be better as soon as possible. I'm still doing NeilMed sinus rinses, generally once per day, taking generic Allegra and am now using both a steroid nasal spray and a nasal antihistimine. I just called a different ENT's office to see if I'm a candidate for balloon sinuplasty - an option that wasn't offered to me before my sinus surgery, I guess because the ENT I had doesn't do that procedure. I've got an appointment for the balloon sinuplasty consultation later this week but don't know how I'd fit recovery time into my schedule in the next couple of weeks. I'm drinking water, taking garlic, trying to avoid allergens - an impossible task - and praying for mercy. I'm still taking generic Prilosec and a probiotic for GERD, too.

What else should I be doing? I'm willing to consider just about anything.
posted by terrierhead to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've pretty much done everything there is to do outside of living in say Alaska or a house with an airlock in it. And the list is a lot longer than most folks are likely going to recommend in this thread shortly.

I could list all the stuff here, but you might be better served by reading this particular book:

Sinus Relief Now

which was recommended to me by an ENT up at Cleveland Metro Health, Dr. Houser, who is extremely aware of preventing the over-surgery-ing of noses. ( A book on that might not hurt you, either, which I have also read).

So am I magically cured? Did I follow the '5 steps?' well I was already religiously doing some of them / had already tried some of them - like you - so it wasn't all that beneficial for me, but I have yet to find a single book that lists pretty much every. single. thing. that could be causing sinus problems.

This is not to say that you don't just have crappy allergies or strictly sinus cavity badness, but it's worth a read.
posted by bitterkitten at 2:30 PM on May 29, 2012

Er, my point being - the Sinus Relief Now book is pretty darn thorough.
posted by bitterkitten at 2:46 PM on May 29, 2012

I recently started using a capsaicin nasal spray for congestion (and related headaches). I've found it to be pretty effective, at least short term. I've found it at Walgreens, other places should have it too. It's kind of expensive ($15 for a small bottle), and it is, uh, intense, but probably worth a try.
posted by Adamsmasher at 5:15 PM on May 29, 2012

I'm going to post here in case anyone is still following this thread. I went and saw the ENT who offers balloon sinuplasty yesterday. After the doctor looked at my nose, sinuses, throat and vocal cords with a fiberoptic device that reminded me of a squid, he had good news and bad news.

The good news is that my previous sinus surgery didn't fail. My sinuses actually look pretty healthy. It looks like the massive quantities of antihistamines and nasal steroids are doing their job.

The bad news is that my cough, hoarseness, sore throat and generally feeling crummy are from that reflux I thought I'd begun to control. The doctor doubled my generic prilosec and prescribed ranitidine to take at bedtime. I got a slew of new dietary restrictions, as in he wants me to stop eating carbs. The doc said that even if the treatment is effective for my cough - he gives it about a 90% chance of working - I most likely won't notice a difference before I leave for my trip.

The Sinus Relief Now book came in at the library yesterday and I started reading it last night. That book is fantastic! I've already decided to buy a copy for my mother who has issues similar to mine. The dietary restrictions listed in one chapter echo those from this newer ENT.

I'm still welcoming suggestions from anyone about anything that might help.
posted by terrierhead at 9:33 AM on June 1, 2012

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