Postoperative Instructions


1. You will be able to leave the surgery center 1½ to 2 hours after your procedure when you are awake enough to help care for yourself.

2. Keep your hand elevated above your head every moment for a minimum 2 days after your surgery. (Your hand should be elevated as you did in fourth grade when you knew the answer to the teacher's question!) This is most important to reduce your pain after surgery. Sleep with your hand on your stomach or elevated on pillows. It is best to continue elevation until your first return appointment. No arm sling is provided because that will not keep your hand elevated high enough.

3. Take antibiotics (if prescribed) until they are all gone.

4. Take pain medicine only as necessary for your comfort. If nausea or vomiting develops 30-45 minutes after taking pain medication, the nausea may be caused by the medication. Stop taking that medicine and try an alternative medication. Call the office if any nausea continues more than 12 hours after surgery, or if pain is not eased significantly by the medications available. Constipation can also develop so take all appropriate measures.

5. Call the office if any numbness returns to your hands or fingers after the original reduced sensation improves.

6. Remove the dressings and start moving your hand and fingers 2 days after your operation ONLY IF YOU WERE INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. Some operations require the dressing be left in place to be changed only by your doctor.

7. The sutures must be kept COMPLETELY DRY until they are removed. If you get the sutures wet, even momentarily, you dramatically increase your chances of infection, pain, delayed healing and a worse looking scar. You may shower and bathe normally, provided you are able to keep the dressing and sutures clean and dry at all times; use your ingenuity with plastic bags, etc.

Please call the office if there are any other questions or concerns or if any aspect of your experience is not going as you understood it would.

If there is any recurrent numbness or marked increased pain not responsive to medication, call the office immediately. We are available to help you before, during, and after your procedure.