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Procedures

Hand Surgery

Hand Surgery

Hand surgery is a specialised field focusing on the treatment of various conditions affecting the hand, wrist, and forearm. Whether you’re dealing with the discomfort of a ganglion cyst, the pain and stiffness of arthritis, tendon injuries, the debilitating effects of Dupuytren’s contracture, or the numbness and tingling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, hand surgery offers solutions to restore function and alleviate pain. Here you will find an overview of the common hand surgery procedures available, helping you understand your options and the benefits they offer for improving your hand health and overall quality of life.

 

At a glance

Anaesthesia
Local, regional (block) or general anaesthetic
Length of surgery
1-2 hours
Length of stay
Day surgery
Recovery
Treatment dependent
Follow-up
1 week, 6 weeks, 3 month, 6 months, 1 year

Table of Contents

Ganglion Cyst Surgery

A ganglion cyst is a noncancerous lump that usually develops along the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands. These cysts are filled with a jelly-like fluid and can vary in size. Although generally harmless, they can become painful and interfere with joint movement.

Arthritis Surgery

Arthritis in the hand can cause severe pain, swelling, and reduced motion. It commonly affects the fingers and wrist, leading to significant discomfort and disability. Surgery may be necessary when non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief.

Tendon Repair Surgery

Tendon injuries in the hand can result from trauma, overuse, or inflammatory conditions. These injuries can severely impact hand function, causing pain and limiting movement. Tendon repair surgery aims to restore the normal function of the hand.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery

Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that causes the tissues under the skin of your palm to thicken and tighten, leading to the fingers being pulled into a bent position. This can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, and surgery is often required to release the contracture.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by pressure on the median nerve as it travels through the wrist’s carpal tunnel. This pressure can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. Surgery aims to relieve this pressure, improving symptoms.


Who Needs Hand Surgery?

Candidates for hand surgery vary depending on the specific condition. Generally, surgery is considered when non-surgical treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, or lifestyle modifications, have not provided sufficient relief. Here are the candidates for each type of hand surgery:

Ganglion Cyst Surgery Candidates

  • Individuals with a cyst that causes pain or discomfort
  • Those experiencing interference with joint movement or function
  • Patients who have tried non-surgical methods without success

Arthritis Surgery Candidates

  • Individuals with severe arthritis causing significant pain and disability
  • Those who have not responded to conservative treatments such as medication or physical therapy
  • Patients with joint deformities affecting hand function

Tendon Repair Surgery Candidates

  • Individuals with tendon injuries resulting from trauma or overuse
  • Those experiencing pain, weakness, or limited movement in the hand
  • Patients with inflammatory conditions affecting the tendons

Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery Candidates

  • Individuals with fingers that are significantly bent and affecting daily activities
  • Those whose contracture has progressed to the point where it interferes with hand function
  • Patients who have not found relief from non-surgical treatments

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Candidates

  • Individuals experiencing severe symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand
  • Those who have not found relief from conservative treatments such as splinting or steroid injections
  • Patients with nerve damage or muscle weakness in the hand

Benefits of Hand Surgery

Hand surgery offers many benefits, significantly improving your quality of life. Here are the primary advantages associated with each type of procedure:

Ganglion Cyst Surgery Benefits

  • Relief from pain and discomfort caused by the cyst
  • Improved joint movement and hand function
  • Removal of unsightly lumps, enhancing the appearance of the hand

Arthritis Surgery Benefits

  • Reduction in pain and swelling
  • Improved joint function and range of motion
  • Enhanced ability to perform everyday tasks

Tendon Repair Surgery Benefits

  • Restoration of normal hand function
  • Relief from pain and discomfort
  • Prevention of further tendon damage

Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery Benefits

  • Improved hand function and ability to perform daily activities
  • Straightening of affected fingers
  • Prevention of progression of the contracture

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Benefits

  • Relief from pain, numbness, and tingling
  • Improved hand strength and function
  • Prevention of permanent nerve damage

Types of Hand Surgery Procedures

Types of Ganglion Cyst Surgery

  • Aspiration: Involves draining the fluid from the cyst using a needle. This is less invasive but has a higher recurrence rate.
  • Excision: Surgical removal of the cyst, often recommended for recurrent or painful cysts.

Types of Arthritis Surgery

  • Joint Fusion: Fusing the bones in a joint to reduce pain and improve stability.
  • Joint Replacement: Replacing the damaged joint with an artificial implant.
  • Synovectomy: Removal of the inflamed synovial tissue to reduce pain and improve function.

Types of Tendon Repair Surgery

  • Primary Repair: Directly suturing the torn tendon, typically performed soon after the injury.
  • Grafting: Using a tendon graft to repair a severely damaged tendon.
  • Tenolysis: Releasing a tendon that has become adhered to surrounding tissues.

Types of Dupuytren's Contracture Surgery

  • Fasciotomy: Cutting the thickened tissue to release the contracture.
  • Fasciectomy: Removing the thickened tissue to restore finger movement.
  • Dermofasciectomy: Removing both the thickened tissue and the overlying skin, often followed by a skin graft.

Types of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

  • Open Release Surgery: Making an incision in the wrist to cut the carpal ligament and relieve pressure on the median nerve.
  • Endoscopic Surgery: Using a small camera and instruments to perform the surgery through tiny incisions, resulting in a quicker recovery.

How is the Hand Surgery Performed?

The surgical approach varies depending on the specific condition and the type of procedure being performed. Here’s a general overview of how each type of hand surgery is conducted:

Ganglion Cyst Surgery Procedure

Ganglion cyst surgery can be performed under local or general anaesthesia. Anca makes a small incision over the cyst and carefully removes it along with its stalk to minimise the chance of recurrence. The incision is then closed with sutures, and a bandage is applied.

Arthritis Surgery Procedure

The specific technique used for arthritis surgery depends on the affected joint and the severity of the condition. For joint fusion, Anca removes the damaged cartilage and fuses the bones together using metal hardware. In joint replacement, the damaged joint is replaced with an artificial implant. Synovectomy involves removing the inflamed synovial tissue through an incision or arthroscopy.

Tendon Repair Surgery Procedure

Tendon repair surgery is typically performed under regional or general anaesthesia. For primary repair, Anca makes an incision over the injured tendon and sutures the torn ends together. In cases requiring grafting, a tendon graft is harvested from another part of the body and used to replace the damaged tendon. Tenolysis involves releasing adhesions around the tendon to restore movement.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery Procedure

Dupuytren’s contracture surgery is usually done under regional or general anaesthesia. In a fasciotomy, Anca makes small incisions in the palm and cuts the thickened tissue. For a fasciectomy, the thickened tissue is removed through larger incisions. A dermofasciectomy involves removing both the thickened tissue and the overlying skin, followed by a skin graft to cover the area.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Procedure

Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery can be performed using an open or endoscopic approach. In open release surgery, Anca makes an incision in the wrist and cuts the carpal ligament to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Endoscopic surgery involves making small incisions and using a camera and specialised instruments to perform the surgery, resulting in less postoperative pain and a quicker recovery.

There are different surgical techniques employed to address different hand conditions. Each procedure is tailored to the specific needs of the patient and the severity of the condition.


Recovery after Hand Surgery

Recovery time and post-operative care vary depending on the type of hand surgery performed. Here are some general guidelines for each procedure:

Ganglion Cyst Surgery Recovery

After ganglion cyst surgery, you may experience some pain and swelling, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs. Keeping the hand elevated can also help reduce swelling. You will likely need to wear a bandage or splint for a few days to protect the incision site. Most people can return to their normal activities within a week or two, but heavy lifting or strenuous activities should be avoided until fully healed.

Arthritis Surgery Recovery

Recovery from arthritis surgery depends on the type of procedure performed. Joint fusion and replacement surgeries typically require a longer recovery period, often involving physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion. You may need to wear a splint or cast for several weeks, and it can take several months to achieve full recovery. Pain and swelling can be managed with medication and ice packs.

Tendon Repair Surgery Recovery

After tendon repair surgery, you will likely need to wear a splint or cast to protect the repaired tendon and allow it to heal. Physical therapy is often necessary to regain strength and flexibility. The recovery period can vary, but it usually takes several weeks to a few months before you can return to normal activities. Pain and swelling can be managed with medication and ice packs.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery Recovery

Recovery from Dupuytren’s contracture surgery involves wearing a splint to keep the fingers straight and undergoing physical therapy to restore movement. You may experience some pain and swelling, which can be managed with medication and ice packs. It can take several weeks to a few months to fully recover, and you may need to perform hand exercises to maintain flexibility.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Recovery

After carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, you will likely need to wear a splint to protect the wrist and allow it to heal. Physical therapy may be recommended to restore strength and flexibility. Most people can return to light activities within a few weeks, but it may take a few months to fully recover. Pain and swelling can be managed with medication and ice packs.

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How Much is Hand Surgery in the UK?

The cost of hand surgery can vary widely depending on the specific procedure, the complexity of the surgery, the surgeon’s experience, and the geographic location. Here are some general estimates for each type of hand surgery:

Ganglion Cyst Surgery Cost

The cost of ganglion cyst surgery can range from £1,500 to £3,000, depending on whether it is performed in a hospital or an outpatient clinic. This cost typically includes the surgeon’s fee, anaesthesia, and facility charges.

Arthritis Surgery Cost

Arthritis surgery costs can vary significantly based on the type of procedure performed. Joint fusion or replacement surgery can range from £5,000 to £15,000, depending on the complexity and the type of implant used. Synovectomy costs can range from £3,000 to £7,000.

Tendon Repair Surgery Cost

The cost of tendon repair surgery can range from £2,000 to £6,000, depending on the extent of the injury and the complexity of the repair. This cost typically includes the surgeon’s fee, anaesthesia, and facility charges.

Dupuytren’s Contracture Surgery Cost

The cost of Dupuytren’s contracture surgery can range from £2,500 to £8,000, depending on the complexity of the procedure and whether a skin graft is required. This cost includes the surgeon’s fee, anaesthesia, and facility charges.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Cost

The cost of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery can range from £2,000 to £5,000, depending on whether an open or endoscopic approach is used.


Further Reading

faq-photo

Procedure

Frequently asked questions

If a common hand problem has caused you significant pain or affected the hand’s ability to function effectively over a period of time, then you may be suitable for surgical treatment.

Hand problems can sometimes be treated without the need for surgical intervention, and a detailed discussion with Miss Breahna during your consultation will help you choose the right treatment for you.

A suitable anaesthetic will be used to perform the procedure, with a course of pain relief to follow up with for a recommended period.

Swelling and bruising are likely after hand surgery – which will resolve in a matter of weeks.

Infrequent complications are infections, bleeding (haematoma), delayed wound healing, poor scarring, stiffness and chronic pain syndrome. Specific risks to each procedure will be discussed with you during your consultation with Miss Breahna.

Each surgical procedure may incur slightly differing amounts of downtime. Hand surgery does not usually require an overnight stay, but time off work may be required. Driving will not be advised until you will be comfortable in making an emergency stop or you may invalidate your insurance.

During your first consultation, Anca will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and perform a physical examination of your hand. She may also order imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to get a detailed view of the affected area. This initial consultation is a chance for you to ask questions, discuss treatment options, and understand the potential outcomes and risks associated with the surgery.

The duration of hand surgery varies depending on the specific procedure and the complexity of the condition being treated. Generally, most hand surgeries last between 30 minutes to 2 hours. For example, a simple ganglion cyst removal might take about 30 to 45 minutes, while more complex procedures like joint replacement or tendon repair could take longer.

As with any surgical procedure, hand surgery carries some risks and potential complications. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, stiffness, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia. Anca will discuss these risks with you prior to the surgery and take steps to minimise them. It’s important to follow post-operative care instructions to reduce the likelihood of complications.

Physical therapy is often an essential part of the recovery process after hand surgery. It helps restore strength, flexibility, and function to the affected hand. The need for physical therapy and the duration will depend on the type of surgery performed and your individual healing process.

Preparing for hand surgery involves several steps to ensure a smooth procedure and recovery. You may need to undergo pre-operative tests, such as blood work or imaging, to confirm your readiness for surgery. It’s also important to inform Anca about any medications or supplements you are taking, as some may need to be adjusted or stopped before surgery. Additionally, arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and help with daily activities during the initial recovery period.

About Anca Breahna – Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Cheshire Cosmetic Surgery

Ms Anca Breahna, PhD, MSc, FEBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast) is a highly regarded Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in the field of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.

Anca performs a wide range of Hand Surgery & Skin Surgery and Aesthetic Breast, Body and Face Surgery,

Anca Breahna - Female Plastic Surgeon in Chester UK

As one of the very few female Plastic Surgeons in the region, she is able to offer that unique female perspective, with empathy, attention to detail and personalised care. It is Anca’s true dedication and commitment to her field, that sets her aside from her peers. Her extensive surgical training means that you are in safe hands. She is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Anca Breahna’s surgical training has mainly been undertaken within the United Kingdom. She began a rigorous training programme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999, after achieving her medical degree from the University of Bucharest. Miss Breahna attained her PhD degree at the same university in 2007 for her medical research. She then relocated to the UK and has worked Internationally to further extend her qualifications and training.

The team at Cheshire Cosmetic Surgery looks forward to meeting you and will treat you with respect, consideration, and empathy.

Your Next Steps

Do your Research

  • Please read our website pages and blogs to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read more about the risks of your surgery.

Get a Medical Referral before your consultation at Cheshire Cosmetic Surgery

  • A Referral from your Doctor is not essential, however it is recommended to have one

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Anca – Car parking is usually available on-site
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly read all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

  • Please call to find out more about availability, pricing and medical payment plans
  • Request more information about the procedure – call us or email us

How to Book your Consultation with Anca Breahna – Plastic Surgeon

  • You can book your consultation with Anca by paying the £150 cosmetic consultation fee when you make your appointment. This fee covers further consultations about the same concern.

Contact Anca’s Team

Call Claire or Joedy on 03332 244111 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information.

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    Practice Manager: Claire Bate – Phone 0800 080 6026

    Patient Coordinator: Joedy Williams – Phone 03332 244111

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