Post Operative Instructions

Pain Relief

Please take pain relief medication as instructed by the Anaesthetist.  Often long-acting anaesthetics are used to numb your wound at the end of an operation.  This will leave areas of the hand tingly or numb for many hours or even days.

Elevation

It is very important to keep your hand elevated after surgery to reduce pain and swelling over the first 48 hours.  The aim is to keep the hand higher than the heart, either with a sling or resting the hand on a pillow.  The hand may be removed from the sling for use but should be returned to an elevated position as soon as possible.  After 48 hours, the sling should be used as necessary and as comfort allows.

Wound

If possible, leave the dressing undisturbed until seen by the nurse or therapist.  The outside may become grubby but the wound will be fine if left alone.  It is very important to keep the dressing dry at all times.

Exercise

The fingers and thumb that have been left free from the operating dressing should be exercised by straightening and bending as often as possible.  There may be some pulling of the stitches but this does not matter.

Driving

Assuming the thumb and fingers are free from the surgical dressing you may start to drive 40 hours after the surgery ONLY if you have an automatic car and power steering.  It is wise to check with your insurance company first.

 Follow-up

A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for you.  Mr Boland’s Personal Assistant will phone you once the Operation Note has been transcribed and give you postoperative appointments to see both Mr Boland and the Practice Nurse.  You may also need an appointment with the hand therapist.  If so you will need to bring any old x-rays and splints.

In an emergency go to your GP or  nearest Accident & Medical Clinic and have contact with Mr Boland’s office.