Hand surgery is a specialized type of procedure that may be performed to correct a wide range of diseases, injuries and defects that may cause symptoms and/or affect the appearance of the hand. Your hand surgery procedure will be customized in order to improve your individual condition and help your hands function as well as possible. If the condition can be corrected without surgery, that will always be the preferred course of action.
Because of their frequent use, the hands are a common location for injuries and degenerative disorders such as arthritis. Many people are born with birth defects of the hand as well. Hand surgery can restore function, relieve pain and improve the appearance of the hands for patients suffering from cysts, nerve condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, birth defects and other problems. Hand surgery may also be performed to re-attach or reconstruct severed fingers after trauma.
Effective hand surgery requires the skill and precision of an experienced surgeon, in order to successfully treat the condition and restore function to the hand. At Artistic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Reiffel has many years of experience performing a full range of hand surgery procedures, having received a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Surgery of the Hand, and utilizing the latest techniques while doing so. Hand surgery requires ultra-precise technique in order to achieve the best return of function possible. It is this level of expertise that Dr. Reiffel applies to everything he does, thereby achieving the kind of results for which he has become known.
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Candidates for Hand Surgery
Hand surgery can be performed on patients of any age to correct conditions and deformities within the hands. The ideal candidates for hand surgery include patients who:
- Do not smoke
- Do not have any other serious medical conditions
- Have made the decision for surgery on their own
- Have realistic expectations for their surgery
Hand Surgery Procedures
Hand surgery is usually performed under either local anesthesia or nerve block anesthesia with sedation, on an outpatient basis. The actual procedure will vary depending on the type and severity of each patient’s individual condition, but may include:
- Carpal tunnel surgery – tissue that is causing pressure on the nerve is removed to relieve pressure.
- Ganglion cyst surgery – Jelly filled cysts which develop from either joints or tendons in the wrist or hand or fingers can be removed.
- Rheumatoid arthritis surgery – damaged tissue is removed from the joint, tendons and ligaments are repositioned, or the entire joint is replaced with a prosthetic.
- Dupuytren’s contracture surgery – thickened, scar-like tissue is separated to improve range of motion and prevent nerve damage.
- Grafting – transfers bones, nerves or other tissue from healthy areas of the body to the damaged area, commonly performed after trauma.
Recovery and Results of Hand Surgery
After hand surgery, patients may experience mild to severe pain. Dr. Reiffel will usually administer a long-acting local anesthetic, to keep the area as numb as possible during the first day after surgery, when the pain would otherwise be the most severe. By the time the local anesthetic has worn off, many patients find they need little or no oral pain medication. However, he will always provide you with oral medication to manage pain, if needed. The hand may need to be immobilized as it heals. Patients sometimes require a course of hand therapy in order to restore full function and range of motion to the hand.
The results of hand surgery usually appear gradually, as swelling and other side effects subside. Most patients notice significant pain relief almost immediately; maximal results may take a several months before they are fully achieved.
To learn more about our hand surgery services, please call us today to schedule a consultation so that an accurate diagnosis can be given and an appropriate course of treatment, either with or without surgery, can be planned.
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