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).

Post operative instructions

I endeavour to make the post operative experience comfortable and anxiety-free for my patients. If you have elective surgery with Melbourne Hand Surgery you will receive written instructions that are specific for you regarding your after sugery care. This page gives general advice and instructions on what to do, what not to do and what you can expect after hand surgery.

  • Please keep your hand elevated at or above the level of your heart for at least 48 hours after surgery. This reduces swelling, improves pain and speeds your healing. Avoid activities that put you at risk of injuring your hand.
  • You must keep your dressings dry and on until review. Do not change your dressings unless you have been specifically instructed to do so.
  • When showering please place a plastic bag over your dressings and keep your hand elevated. If you need to apply additional tape to secure a loose bandage please do so. Only remove your splint or plaster if you have been specifically instructed to do so by a hand therapist or surgeon.
  • During hand surgery we usually administer local anaesthetic to your hand to minimise pain. Commonly this results in numbness to part of your hand for 6-24 hours. When the local anaesthetic wears off it is common to experience some throbbing, discomfort or pain.
  • Take the pain medications that you have been prescribed so that you are comfortable.
  • If you have minimal pain once the local anaesthetic wears off you do not need to keep taking pain medications.
  • If you have been prescribed antibiotics you should take the course until finished, unless you develop significant side effects (such as vomiting, severe diarrhoea, a significant rash or swelling not related to your hand surgery).
  • We encourage early movement of after surgery as this speeds recovery. However, you must not move any joints that are immobilised with a splint unless specifically instructed to do so by your hand therapist and surgeon.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to the fingers by 42% and reduces healing.
  • Do not drive until you have been advised that it is safe to do so.
If you need to contact us during business hours please phone 9427 9596. If you need to contact Dr Tomlinson urgently after hours please phone Epworth Hospital Switchboard on 9426 6666 and ask to be put through to Dr Jill Tomlinson on her mobile phone.
Symptoms of concern that should encourage you to seek urgent medical attention include severe pain, change of colour of your fingers (purple, blue, white), sudden loss of movement of your hand, bleeding, excessive swelling, overly tight bandage/splint, signs of infection (fever, discharge, offensive odour, increasing pain), and uncontrolled nausea or vomiting.
If you have any questions please ask!
If you think of other information that we should include here please let us know.


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