Melbourne Hand Surgery 

Coronavirus update: Melbourne Hand Surgery has mechanisms to protect our patients and staff while we continue to provide healthcare services. All consultations are now conducted via telehealth (phone or videoconference), except where we have previously confirmed the requirement for an in-person physical examination or wound care management.  Only emergency surgery is being conducted in hospitals for the foreseeable future, in keeping with Government directives. 

If our practice is unable to physically open for business at any point in the coming weeks or months we will communicate this to existing scheduled patients via email and SMS (please do not attempt to reply other than with Y or N to an SMS, as the automated system does not facilitate this). Incoming telephone calls and receipt of voicemail messages may be temporarily affected by such a change. We will use this website banner to update you on changes to our practice and the availability of non-urgent procedures and surgery in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you for your understanding as our entire community works through these unprecedented and rapidly evolving times together (last updated: 4 April 2020).

Interstate & overseas patients

We commonly receive requests from interstate and overseas patients to have their surgery in Melbourne and we welcome these requests. 

Wherever possible we try to streamline your consultation, surgery and follow-up process for you so that the number of visits you need to make to Melbourne are minimised and the length of your stay in Melbourne is minimised. 

Equally, we wish to ensure that all patients are adequately informed about their options prior to undergoing a surgical procedure. For this reason we require that all patients attend a consultation in our rooms with Dr Tomlinson prior to surgery and we prefer not to schedule your initial consultation and your surgery on the same day for elective procedures. If you are healthy and need emergency surgery such as surgery for a broken bone, we can organise a same day approach. However, for elective procedures we prefer, at the minimum, to arrange an afternoon or evening consultation followed by a procedure the following day. If your surgery requires sedation or a general anaesthetic then we require that you have someone who can stay with you for 24 hours after the procedure, and we advise that you should not fly until 24 hours after a procedure that requires sedation or general anaesthesia.

Why don’t we like to arrange a consultation with surgery straight afterwards for elective procedures? Optimal hand and wrist function is vital to your livelihood and well being, and we don’t want you to rush your decision. We want you to have the opportunity to consider the risks and benefits of the procedure after your suitability for the procedure has been assessed. The type of treatment that you wish to undergo may not be suitable or ideal for you. Special equipment may need to be ordered for your procedure. It may take some time for you to organise to see a hand therapist after your surgery, and this can delay and impair your recovery. We want to provide you with the best treatment possible, and for elective surgery that means not cutting corners. 

For emergency surgery time is of the essence. If you send us details of your injury including your x-ray images and photographs of any wound this can greatly assist us in assessing your injury and organising your treatment. 

It is important to understand the potential limitations of communicating via email, telephone, Skype or video after your procedure should you encounter any complications or concerns. While complications are rare, they are certainly easier to manage when your doctor can see you in person. Even if the procedure goes completely according to plan (which is usual) you still need to understand and be able to manage the post-operative rehabilitation process in order to get the best result from your treatment. Your recovery process may involve finding a hand therapist, seeing your GP to arrange x-rays or even CT scans, and return trips to Melbourne if you have unexpected problems. All of these matters will be discussed at your consultation and we will provide you with the necessary referrals and letters to assist with your follow up and travel home. 

 

 

FRACS

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