American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Hand Surgery

Improve Strength, Function and Flexibility

Hand surgery can treat diseases that cause pain and impair the strength, function and flexibility of your wrist and fingers.

Hand surgery risks and safety

The decision to have hand surgery is extremely personal and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery.

You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo, the alternatives and the most likely risks and potential complications from hand surgery.

Possible hand surgery risks include:

  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Change in skin sensation
  • Skin contour irregularities
  • Skin discoloration/swelling
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Injury to the blood vessels, nerves or tendons
  • Unexpected hand swelling
  • Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Damage to deeper structures—such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles and lungs—can occur and may be temporary or permanent
  • Pain, which may persist
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

Be sure to ask questions: It's very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

Additional risks associated with these specific surgeries include:

Carpal tunnel

  • Non-improvement
  • Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome

Extensor tendon

  • Additional incisions necessary because cut tendons may retract
  • Failure of tendon repair
  • Inability to restore function
  • Tendon scarring

Flexor tendon

  • Additional incisions necessary because cut tendons may retract
  • Inability to restore function
  • Tendon scarring

Tenolysis

  • Abnormal tendon position
  • Additional incisions necessary where scarring occurs or to make new incisions to release scar tissue that is limiting tendon motion
  • Inability to restore function
  • Recurrent tendon scarring
  • Rupture of tendon
  • Seroma (fluid accumulation)
  • Wound breakdown

Trigger finger

  • Non-improvement
  • Tendon scarring


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