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Hand surgery

Preparation for hand surgery

You will visit a Dignity Health hospital or outpatient surgery center for your procedure. Depending on the type of hand surgery you receive, you may remain in the hospital or return home the same day. Your doctor will give you general anesthesia to put you to sleep, or regional anesthesia to numb your hand.

Before your surgery, make sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. You will also need to ensure that you have everything for a smooth recovery in advance, including setting up clothes and food that you can prepare and eat with only one hand.

If you smoke, drink, or use drugs, speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Stopping the use of all of these substances is preferred to speed recovery and ensure a good outcome. If you take medications, you may need to temporarily pause them for a day or two before surgery.

After your surgery, you might be given a splint to stabilize your hand or wrist during the healing process. Physical therapy, stretches, or exercises may help with movement. Depending on your procedure and overall health, a full recovery from hand surgery may take only a few days, or up to several months.


At Dignity Health, our goal is to provide you with exceptional care and treatment. We want you to get back to the activities you love with less pain and a greater range of motion. When your procedure is complete, your hand surgeon will discuss your recovery, including reducing your risk of injury.

Recovery will look different for everyone, depending on the reason for hand surgery. You can expect to receive instructions after surgery. This information will include specific medications you should be taking, how to reduce the risk of infection, and how to generally care for your hand. Physical therapy will likely be crucial to healing. You will work with your therapist to get your strength back without re-injury.


Results from your hand surgery, like recovery, will vary depending on your procedure. For many, it is possible to make a full recovery. For traumatic injuries, it is possible that surgery will not result in completely normal function.

If your surgery was to correct an overuse injury such as carpal tunnel, you must modify your work habits, or whatever activity was causing you pain. It is also important to remember that it could take several months to a year to return to normal

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.