Time Off Work and Advice about Flying

It is wise to advise patients about the amount of time they will need off work to allow them to recover. After minor surgery, such as a limited anterior eth-moidectomy, patients could return to work after one week if they felt well enough. If they work in dusty or smoky environment, this should be extended by a further week so that the mucociliary function has time to recovere more. Patients who have had more extensive sinus surgery are advised to take 2 weeks off work; this suits most patients, although the occasional stoical individual will return to work sooner than this.

Advice differs as to how soon after sinus surgery it is safe for patients to fly. Some authorities have advised that it is wise to wait up to 6 weeks after surgery,

Fig 9.1 Discussing complications with the patient.

but our view is that if patients are able to do a Valsalva maneuver and can readily inflate their ears, they may fly. We do advise them to liberally apply a topical nasal decongestant 20 minutes before landing in order to help eustachian tube function.

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