FAQ

Will I be able to choose the type of anaesthetic?

In most cases you will be able to discuss this with you surgeon and chose between local, regional or general anaesthetic. Occasionally one of these may not be suitable for a patient and an alternative can be chosen.

Who will do my surgery?

This depends upon the individual surgeon's practice and you should discuss this with your treating surgeon. Mr Farnell always performs the surgery himself when operating in the independent sector. In the NHS Mr Farnell usually does the surgery or it may be performed by a trainee surgeon under direct supervision.

How long will I be off work after surgery?

This depends upon what surgery you are having and the type of job you have. If you have had a minor operation such as a carpal tunnel decompression and have a sedentary job then you may be able to return to work a couple of days after surgery. Those having major surgery with anticipated postoperative discomfort or swelling working in a heavy manual job are likely to need more time off work. Your specific requirements can be discussed with your surgeon.

How quickly can I move my hand and wrist?

This depends upon the type of surgery performed. After some surgery you may have a cast to prevent movement of your hand or wrist. Otherwise it is generally advantageous to mobilise as soon as possible unless there is specific reasons not to do so. Your consultant will discuss this with you.

Will I be in pain?

It is usual to experience some discomfort after surgery but it is unusual for this to be unpleasant. You will be provided with a number of different pain killing medication (analgesics) of varying strength depending upon the type of surgery you have had. In the first 48 hours it is often better to take this medication regularly. Many people do not experience any pain and those that do find it manageable with the painkillers. Should you develop pain despite this you will have been provided with details where you can contact for help.

What happens if I have a problem?

Problems are uncommon after hand surgery, and those that occur are fortunately minor. Problems that can occur are bleeding though the dressing, pain and swelling or a tight dressing. Should this occur you can contact the hospital or clinic that treated you for advice and management.

Who removes my stitches?

In many operations dissolving stitches are used which means they do not need removing. If stitches are used that require removal this can be done by either the hospital or your GP practice.

Can I drive after surgery?

You surgeon may tell you that you can or cannot drive. However, the legal position it that it is the patient who makes the decision as to whether you are safe to drive. In making this decision you need to consider whether you are in full and complete control of the vehicle and able to react appropriately in an emergency. If you feel you are able to drive in a bandage or cast it is advisable to contact your insurance company first.