Post Operative Care

If you have any concerns post-operatively, please contact me on (02) 7903 2052 or 0414 759 593. I always prefer to know if there is a problem before you go to your GP as I am responsible for your post-operative care. Please ensure you have arranged for a responsible adult to drive you home.

Rest

Usually your procedure will require only a day stay or possibly overnight. On discharge, go home and rest. Have someone drive you and stay with you overnight. Start gentle mobilisation as soon as possible. It is most important to elevate your hand to reduce swelling. A swollen hand will be painful and also become stiff. The hand should be kept at a level that is higher than your heart in order to cause fluid to drain from the hand.

Wound Care

Your hand may be splinted, ensure that dressings and plaster splint (if used) stay clean and dry. Do not remove; this will be done at your first post-operative visit to the clinic within the first few days. Ice packs may be applied for 20 minutes at a time for first 48 hours. You may shower briefly, with a large plastic bag over the hand securely taped just below the shoulder. Sutures are usually removed at 14 days. Alternatively, absorbable sutures if used, will dissolve over the next few weeks. Tapes will be applied to the wounds to minimize scarring. Compression bandaging or a special glove may be used to manage swelling. It is recommended that Vitamin E be massaged into the scars twice a day after initial healing. Bleeding/Infection: Minor bleeding is normal for the first 24-48 hours post–operatively. Wound infection is an infrequent occurrence. Contact Dr Hope if you experience: increased, heavy or prolonged bleeding, increased pain, widespread redness, temperature or offensive discharge from the wounds.

Pain Relief

A script for pain relief will be provided. If you run out, Panadeine should be adequate. It is common to experience numbness or tingling in the hand – ensure strict elevation of the hand. Do not take aspirin/aspirin-based drugs (unless prescribed) for 10 days post-op as it prolongs bleeding. You may be prescribed antibiotics – take as directed. Take some pain relief tablets prior to leaving home for your first doctor’s visit.

Contact Dr Hope if pain relief is inadequate.

General

Once dressings are minimised, it is important to gently start exercising the fingers when advised to do so and not if tendon repair is involved, by making a full fist, then straightening the fingers 10 times an hour while awake. This will help to prevent swelling and stiffness. If necessary, a referral for Hand Therapy will be arranged for you. Hand Therapy may be necessary after surgery for a variety of reasons including custom making of a splint, regaining motion, managing scars and swelling. Recommencement of lifting, gripping and light duties will depend on the type of hand surgery performed and you will be advised of this. Wear a rubber glove to protect hand from dirt or dust if necessary. Do not drive for at least 1 week, or until you are safely able to grip the steering wheel/gear stick. No smoking until after area has totally healed.

Emergency

In the uncommon event that you cannot contact Dr Hope please present to your nearest accident and emergency department, if possible, or ask your treating doctor to call Dr Hope.

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If you have any concerns post-operatively, please contact me on 3834 6590 or 0414 759 593. I always prefer to know if there is a problem before you go to your GP as I am responsible for you post-operative care. Please ensure you have arranged for a responsible adult to drive you home.

Rest

Usually your procedure will require an overnight stay. On discharge, go home and rest. Have someone drive you and stay with you overnight. It is normal to feel nauseous after surgery especially if you had a general anaesthetic, this should subside within 24 hours of surgery. Your shoulder will be in a sling when you are discharged from hospital it is import to keep the sling on all day and night this will prevent excess strain being placed on the shoulder. Dr Hope will let you know when you can remove the sling. If you are unsure how to apply the sling ask a nurse prior to being discharged. You should also try to bend and move your fingers and wrist to prevent stiffness. You should not drive a motor vehicle until Dr Hope advises that you can.

Wound Care

In order for your wound to heal it is important that you do not remove your dressings and that they are kept clean and dry. Your dressings will be changed at your first post-operative visit. To minimise swelling around your shoulder an ice pack should be applied regularly for the first 48hours for 20 minutes at a time. Make sure that when applying the icepack, use a towel to stop your skin from getting too cold. After surgery you can shower, however this should be brief and care should be taken to avoid getting your dressings wet. This can be done by taping a plastic bag around your shoulder. Sutures are usually removed 14 days after your surgery, unless they are absorbable. It is recommended that Vitamin E be massaged into the scars twice a day after initial healing.

For the first forty-eight hours it is normal for there to be some bloody discharge onto the post-operative dressings. If this bleeding is prolonged or becomes heavy please call Dr Hope’s rooms

Pain Relief

After surgery your shoulder may feel numb for up to 24 hours or longer, this is because of the local anaesthetic. Before you leave hospital you will be given a script for pain medication. When you run out of this you can use Panadeine®. Do not take aspirin or aspirin based drugs (unless prescribed) as this may prolong bleeding.

Pain Pump

When you wake up from surgery a pain pump will be attached, this will provide continued pain relief postoperatively. The pain pump will either be removed by a nurse prior to discharge or you will be required to remove the pain pump yourself 2 to 3 days after surgery. You will be given specific instructions on how to do this prior to leaving hospital.

Motion Exercises

After surgery you will be given an appointment with a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will commence you on a range of motion exercises. These exercises should be followed carefully and as instructed to ensure that you get the best possible result from your surgery.

Emergency

If there is increased pain, swelling, redness bleeding or you have a fever please contact Dr Hope’s rooms. In the unlikely event that you are unable to do so please present yourself to the closest Accident and Emergency Department.

– Download PDF >

If you have any concerns post-operatively, please contact me on 3834 6590 or 0414 759 593. I always prefer to know if there is a problem before you go to your GP as I am responsible for you post-operative care. Please ensure you have arranged for a responsible adult to drive you home.

Rest

Usually your procedure will require an overnight stay. On discharge, go home and rest. Have someone drive you and stay with you overnight. It is normal to feel nauseated after surgery especially if you had a general anaesthetic, this should subside within 24 hours of surgery. Your elbow will be in a sling when you are discharged from hospital it is important to keep the sling on all day and night. Dr Hope will let you know when you can remove the sling. If you are unsure how to apply the sling ask a nurse prior to being discharged. You should also try to bend and move your fingers and wrist to prevent stiffness. You should not drive a motor vehicle until Dr Hope advises that you can.

Wound Care

In order for your wound to heal it is important that you do not remove your dressings and that they are kept clean and dry. Your dressings will be changed at your first post-operative visit. To minimise swelling around your elbow an ice pack should be applied regularly for the first 48hours for 20 minutes at a time. Make sure that when applying the icepack, you use a towel to stop your skin from getting too cold. After surgery you can shower, however this should be brief and care should be taken to avoid getting your dressings wet. This can be done by taping a plastic bag around your arm. It is recommended that Vitamin E be massaged into the scars twice a day after 2 weeks.

For the first forty-eight hours it is normal for there to be some bloody discharge onto the post-operative dressings. If this bleeding is prolonged or becomes heavy please call Dr Hope’s rooms

Pain Relief

After surgery your arm may feel numb for up to 24 hours or longer, this is because of the local anaesthetic. Before you leave hospital you will be given a script for pain medication. When you run out of this you can use Panadeine®. Do not take aspirin or aspirin based drugs (unless prescribed) as this may prolong bleeding.

Motion Exercises

After surgery you will be given an appointment with a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will commence you on a range of motion exercises. These exercises should be followed carefully and as instructed to ensure that you get the best possible result from your surgery.

Emergency

If there is increased pain, redness, bleeding or you have a fever please contact Dr Hope’s rooms. In the unlikely event that you are unable to do so please present yourself to the closest Accident and Emergency Department.

– Download PDF >