Common postoperative instructions

Keep your dressing dry and clean and intact. When showering, place a plastic bag over your splint to keep the dressings dry. When sleeping at night, rest your extremity on several pillows to keep your hand elevated at night. You do not need a sling, because this may make your shoulder and elbow stiff.

Your postoperative appointment will be 2 weeks after surgery. You may receive a phone call from Hand Therapy about an appointment for a thermoplastic removable splint, which you should plan to attend immediately after your first postoperative visit with me. Immediately after surgery, you may begin working on the 6 pack of hand exercises to maintain your range of motion. When I see you in clinic at your first postoperative visit, I will take down your splint and examine your wound. You may then proceed to your hand therapy appointment to obtain your custom thermoplastic removable splint, and guidance for additional exercises.

Your sutures are non-absorbable. Try to keep your dressing on for as long as possible until your first postoperative visit with at 2 weeks after your surgery.

Wear your abdominal binder at all times. Record your drain outputs and bring your record of drain outputs to each postoperative visit. The length of time that your drains are in place depends on their output, but I do not remove both drains in one day. The remaining drain output typically increases for a period of time after one of two drains is removed.

For the first 48 hours, you may apply an ice pack to your surgical areas; 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. Do not apply the ice pack directly onto your skin – use a towel in between. You may shower 48 ours after surgery. It is fine for the Steri-strips to get wet, just pat them dry afterwards. Do not soak in any hot tubs, pools, or ocean.

Record your drain outputs and bring your record of drain outputs to each postoperative visit. The length of time that your drains are in place depends on their outputs. Leave your dressings on and clean and intact and dry until your first follow up visit, usually about a week after your surgery.