American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

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.

What are the risks of hand surgery?

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:

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

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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