What Hand Surgeons want You to Know about the Wide Awake Approach

The wide awake approach is used by hand surgeons for up to 95 percent of all surgeries on the hand for many conditions including trigger finger and damaged flexor tendon. During the procedure, the patient is fully awake and all that is used is a local anesthetic. What the patient experiences is much like getting a filling at the dentist. It is easier and safer because the patient is unsedated. It also means that there are no pre-op tests that are required. When the surgery is over the patient can get up and go home.

While wide awake hand surgery is far less complicated than surgery where the patient is sedated, there are still things that the patient needs to do to ensure that the surgery is a success. Because the patient is not put under, they can get a false sense of security and feel that they may not need to take the same care for the hand as they would with surgery where they were sedated. This is simply not the case. These post op tips will help ensure that you heal properly.

Follow your Hand Surgeon’s orders.

Your doctor knows what it takes for your hand to heal completely so you need to make sure that you follow his or her orders explicitly. If you have post op order to not use your hand for anything, don’t use it. That may be difficult, but in the long run it is better to have a few weeks of down time than it is to have problems with your hand for the rest of your life. Follow the post op plan to the letter and keep a positive attitude. Healing depends on not only what you do for your hand itself, but also how you treat your body and mine. Get plenty of sleep and eat a balanced, healthy diet to nourish your body. Nourish your mind with a good outlook on life and keeping positive.

Ice and elevate your hand.

Your hand surgeon will likely tell you to ice and elevate your hand after surgery. This will not only reduce swelling but also help you manage post surgery pain. Excessive swelling can cause problems with healing and if you don’t stay on top of the pain it can be difficult to handle. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or recommend something over the counter like ibuprofen. This will also help with the pain and swelling.

Rest your hand and rest your body.

Rest is absolutely vital for healing. Of course, you will need to rest your hand while it heals, but you also need to rest your body. Get plenty of good quality sleep. This can be difficult if you are dealing with pain and you might have some difficulty finding sleep positions that don’t irritate your hand, but do your best. Use pillows to prop up your hand while you sleep- and whatever you do, don’t use your hand until you get the all clear from your doctor.

At Florida Hand Center, we care about your quality of life and when you need hand surgery we’re there for you. From pre-op to after surgery care we will guide you through treatment and recovery. Call today.