Septorhinoplasty: Reasons for Pain and Pressure After Sinus Surgery

Question: My daughter had septorhinoplasty and sinus surgery four months ago. 2 weeks after surgery she started experiencing pressure in he the top of her head and her frontal sinuses. Her ENT diagnosed her with sinusitis and treated her accordingly. However, the pain did not subside. The ENT decided to do a second surgery to open the frontal sinuses to see if that would relieve any pressure. Nothing has improved since the second operation and have been referred to pain management and she was prescribed Cymbalta 60mg. She has been on the medication for 4 weeks and no improvement. I would like your professional opinion on what could be causing her constant pressure.


First of all, thank you for your question.  I wish I could diagnose your daughter’s problem from just a description, but clearly, she would need to be seen for me to give you a clear answer as to the cause of her pain and pressure.

One must realize, however, that facial pressure does not always come from a sinus infection, and may not, therefore, be helped with sinus surgery. A certain amount of facial pressure can be normal post-operative discomfort from a rhinoplasty.  The bony cuts that we make extend all the way up to the root of the nose, near the forehead.  Facial pain can come from muscle spasms, dental problems or problems with the bite, other types of headaches, and sometimes even reflux from stomach acid contents.

In general, one would like to figure out the cause of this (or any symptom) before just treating the symptom, without treating the cause.  We believe at the NY Sinus Center, that too often, physicians do not get to the bottom of their patients’ problems, before treating.  An in-depth analysis of the patient’s medical problems is an essential part of our evaluation, before treatment.

I hope this helps.

Robert L. Pincus MD

Co-Director New York Sinus Center/ NY Otolaryngology Group

Associate Professor Otolaryngology