What should I look out for at home after surgery?
- Dizziness and tiredness: if you have had a general anaesthetic you might feel dizzy and tired when you go home after the operation. Please rest for the remainder of the day and the following day to help you recover from the general anaesthetic. For more information, see our leaflet Having an anaesthetic. The anaesthetic will take up to 24 hours to wear off. You do not need to stay in bed. Gently moving around your home will help your blood circulation and help to prevent blood clots.
- Swelling: you can help to prevent or reduce swelling in your fingers by placing your arm on a couple of pillows when you are sitting or resting. You will also be given a sling. Wear this when you are not seated or resting.
- Dressing: you will have a padded dressing over your wound. You may also have a partial plaster cast that will prevent you from moving your wrist. You will be told on the day of your surgery when that will be removed. Your surgeon will decide the amount of time the dressing should remain in place. Often it must remain in place for at least one week. You will most likely have stitches in your hand or wrist. Those are usually removed within 10 – 13 days. Please do not let your hand get wet. If necessary, cover it with a plastic bag tied at the wrist or a large rubber glove.
- Follow up appointments: You will be given a follow-up appointment to have your dressings and stitches removed, which will either be with the plastics dressings nurses or with hand therapy. Your surgeon may recommend that you attend hand therapy for a splint or exercises. You will also have a followup appointment scheduled with the surgeon. These appointments will be given to you before you leave the hospital on the day of your surgery. If we are unable to schedule any of the appointments that day, we will send you details of the appointment by letter.