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Surgery Information

If you are undergoing surgery this is where you can find information about your particular HandWrist or Arm/Elbow condition.
Before arriving for surgery, please read more about your particular condition by clicking the menu.

It is also worth reading our Pre-Operative checklistpost-operative instructions and understanding information regarding 
medical certificates.

Pre Operative Checklist (MINOR)

Pre-Operative
Checklist

(Minor Procedures)

Minor Procedures

Minor procedures such as carpal tunnel, tendon sheath release, mucous cyst and ganglion excision are commonly performed in our local theatre, which runs on a Wednesday. All procedures are usually completed within 30 – 45 minutes.

  • Procedures are carried out under local anaesthetic so there is no need to fast before surgery.

  • If you are on Warfarin or Dabigatran, you will need to stop 48 hours before your surgery and commence 24 hours after your surgery. Please discuss with your surgeon if you have any concerns.

  • Please advise us of any allergies you may have.

  • Driving is not recommended after your surgery so you will need to organize a chaperone.

  • Please expect some delays on the day, and allow yourself plenty of time when you come.

  • If you require oral sedation, please read the information provided on the link.
     

Before coming in for surgery

  • Clean your hands thoroughly, paying attention to dirt under your nails. This is especially important if you have been working outside or with grease and other dirty substances.

  • Remove any jewelry from your fingers on the hand undergoing treatment.

  • Wear a comfortable, loose top.  Tee shirts and short sleeves are preferred.

  • Organize time off from work. We can advise how many days you should require.

Pre Operative Checklist (GENERAL)

Pre-Operative
Checklist

(General Procedures)

General Procedures

Procedures that require general anaesthetic, such as scaphoid non-union and suture repairs (skier’s thumb), are commonly performed at Southern Cross Hospital on Bealey Ave. Your date will be scheduled in advance, and whether you are required to stay overnight or not will depend on your specific treatment.

  • The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic so you will need to stop eating the night before your surgery. You may take prescribed medication the morning of surgery, but only with a small sip of water.

  • If you are on Warfarin or Dabigatran, you will need to stop 48 hours before your surgery and commence back 24 hours after your surgery. Please discuss with your surgeon if you have any concerns.

  • Please advise us of any allergies you may have.

  • Driving is not recommended after your surgery so you will need to organise a chaperone.

Before coming for your surgery

  • Clean your hands thoroughly, paying attention to dirt under your nails. This is especially important if you have been working outside or with grease and other dirty substances.

  • Remove any jewelry from your fingers.

  • Organise time off from work. If you are receiving ACC compensation and/or medical certificates, we can advise how many days you should require.

Post Op Instructions (MINOR)

Post-Operative
Instructions
(Minor Procedures)

After surgery: what to expect (minor procedures)

  • Your operated hand/finger will be numb from the local anaesthetic. It will take 3 to 4 hours for the anaesthetic to wear off. You may start to experience pain after this time.

  • If you are in severe pain, please take pain relief medication as instructed by your surgeon.

  • Your hand will be wrapped in crepe bandage, which you should keep dry.

  • Swelling is expected, so keep your arm elevated at chest level to reduce it.

  • You should have your wound checked and suture removed (non-absorbable sutures) in approximately 10-12 days after your surgery. This will be arranged for either our rooms or your GP’s clinic before you leave.

Post Operative Instructions (GENERAL)

Post-Operative
Instructions

(General Procedures)

After surgery: what to expect (general procedures)
 

Immediately following your operation you will have your pulse, blood pressure, breathing and wounds checked regularly by a nurse. You will be given oxygen through a face mask as you are awaken, it is usual to feel drowsy for several hours.

Anaesthetics can make people feel sick. Your nurse may offer you medication if the feeling does not go away. You will have a drip running into a vein in your arm/hand until you are eating solids and drinking normally again.

Bone grafts

If you have had a bone graft taken to repair a bone, it’s likely that the location the bone was taken from (usually the top of the hip) is more painful than your repaired wound. You should take care when moving and keep the wound from getting wet.

Important information

You cannot drive or go home by public transport after surgery. Therefore, you must make arrangements for someone to collect you. It is not appropriate to go home unaccompanied in a taxi. The anaesthetic drugs remain in your body for 24 hours and during this time are gradually excreted from the body. You are under the influence of drugs during this time and therefore there are certain things that you should and should not do.

You should

  • Ensure that a responsible adult stays at home with you for 24 hours.

  • Rest quietly at home for the rest of the day.

  • Drink plenty of fluids, but not too much tea or coffee.

  • Avoid greasy or heavy food as this may cause you to feel sick.

  • Have a lie in the next day. It could take 2 – 3 days before the weariness wears off and you could suffer lapses in concentration for up to a week.

For at least 24 hours after your operation you must not:

  • Lock yourself in a bathroom or make yourself inaccessible to the person looking after you.

  • Operate any domestic appliances or machinery.

  • Drink alcohol.

  • Make any important decisions or sign any important documents.

  • Be responsible for looking after small children.

  • The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic so you will need to stop eating the night before your surgery. You may take prescribed medication the morning of surgery, but only with a small sip of water.

  • If you are on Warfarin or Dabigatran, you will need to stop 48 hours before your surgery and commence back 24 hours after your surgery. Please discuss with your surgeon if you have any concerns.

  • Please advise us of any allergies you may have.

  • Driving is not recommended after your surgery so you will need to organise a chaperone.

Medical Cetificates

Medical
Certificates

We will provide certificates relating to the period around the time of your surgery and rehabilitation. We will provide certificates at the time of surgery, for the immediate 6-10 week period after your operation depending on your condition.

If appropriate we can provide further medical certificates at the time of follow up appointment. If you require further medical certificates after this time, you will need to contact your regular GP or medical practice.

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