Reconstructive Surgery

Hand Surgery: Carpal Tunnel Release & Dupuytren's Contracture Release

Introduction to Hand Surgery

Hand surgery encompasses a variety of procedures designed to restore function, relieve pain, and improve the appearance of the hand. Two common hand surgeries are Carpal Tunnel Release and Dupuytren's Contracture release.

Carpal Tunnel Release is a procedure to relieve pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, which can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand. The pressure on the nerve can be removed through a carpal tunnel release operation.

Dupuytren's Contracture release is a procedure to treat Dupuytren's contracture, a condition that causes tight bands of tissue under that skin that result in one or more fingers to bend into the palm of the hand. This can make it difficult to use the hand for everyday tasks.

Mr Butler offers other forms of hand surgery depending on the requirements for each particular patient.

Key Details of the Procedure

  • Duration: 30 minutes upwards
  • Cost: $2000 upwards (may be eligible for ACC funding if related to previous injury)
  • Anaesthetic: Local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic
  • Length of stay: Day surgery

Post-Surgery Care and Downtime

  • Showering: Keep bandages dry until the first dressing change 1 week after surgery.
  • Exercise: Light exercise can be resumed 1 week after surgery, while strenuous exercise should be avoided for 4 weeks post-surgery.
  • Driving: Depends on the type of surgery.
  • Work: You can return to desk-based work 1 day after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hand Surgery

What can I expect during recovery?

After surgery, you may experience some discomfort and swelling in the hand. These symptoms can be managed with prescribed pain medication and elevation of the hand. Specific recovery timelines can vary depending on the type of surgery performed.

Will there be visible scarring after the surgery?

The incisions for hand surgery are typically made in areas that can be concealed or are less noticeable. Over time, the scars will fade and become less noticeable.

What are the potential risks and complications of hand surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, hand surgery carries potential risks and complications. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, delayed healing, stiffness, cold intolerance and changes in hand function. Mr Butler will discuss each of the potential risks with you in detail during your consultation.

How long will I need to stay in the hospital after surgery?

Hand surgeries are typically performed as day surgeries. This means you can usually go home on the same day as the procedure.