If your hand is impaired in any way, it can limit the activities you enjoy, interfere with work and lower your self-esteem. Hand surgery at the Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine aims to improve hand strength, flexibility and function. We can also correct abnormalities that were present at birth. It’s a highly specialized surgery, which is why trusting someone with Dr. Zelken’s credentials is in your — and your hands’ — best interest.
Hand surgery not only restores the strength, function and flexibility of your hand, wrist and fingers, but it can also alleviate pain you’re experiencing in your hand. Typically, Dr. Zelken helps patients who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis. Dupuytren’s contracture, which is a disabling hand disorder in which thick, scar-like tissue forms within the palm and can cause restricted movement, bending the fingers into an abnormal position.
Dr. Zelken completed the requisite hand training for his plastic surgery residency at Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore. This program is widely regarded as the nation’s best, and Dr. Zelken completed twice as many rotations at this center as required. He is passionate about aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the hand and is typically willing to take on the most challenging of cases. This can range from carpal tunnel surgery to fracture management, tendon repair, nerve repair, trigger finger, adding fingers, replanting fingers, and rejuvenating the aging hand with fat, fillers, and phototherapy.
Hand surgery is performed on people of any age and is a good option if you’re experiencing painful conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and Dupuytren’s contracture.
Our team will make sure you are healthy, do not have a life-threatening illness or medical condition that can impair healing and have specific, realistic goals in mind for your hand surgery. It’s also critical that any candidate for surgery, including hand surgery, is a nonsmoker and are committed to following Dr. Zelken’s prescribed course of treatment.
Prior to any surgery at the Zelken Institute of Aesthetic Medicine, including hand surgery, you will have a consultation with Dr. Zelken. We will examine your hand in detail, discuss your goals, past medical procedures and may take photographs for your medical record. When we ask questions pertaining to your health, desires and lifestyle, the success and safety of your procedure depends on your complete candidness. During this consultation, you will be presented with course of action based on Dr. Zelken’s extensive experience treating hand impairments.
Though you will have unrivalled access to Dr. Zelken and his staff throughout the process, this is a great time for you to ask any questions you may have regarding hand surgery. If you’re feeling anxious about your anticipated new look or the operation itself, be sure to discuss those feelings with us. A little anxiety, by the way, is completely normal prior to any procedure.
Depending on your individual situation and the scope of your surgery, Dr. Zelken will recommend local, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia for your comfort during the surgical procedure. For hand surgery indicated to treat trauma, tendon repair is the most common objective. When a tendon is cut, it will retract from the original wound site. Tendon repair retrieves the retracted tendon and reconnects it using surgical techniques to restore function and movement. For carpal tunnel syndrome relief, pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel must be relieved. To accomplish that, Dr. Zelken will make an incision from the middle of the palm to the wrist, allowing access to the constricted tissue causing pressure on the nerve. An alternate procedure is referred to as an endoscopic carpal tunnel release, with smaller incisions and the use of a surgical microscope or endoscope.
Birth deformities can also be repaired by hand surgery. When fingers are fused together at birth, called syndactyly, they may be joined only by a web of skin or by skin and a partial fusion of bones. Surgery involves separating the two fingers to provide a full range of motion and a normal appearance, as well as permitting more normal finger growth. Techniques such as skin grafting or a local flap procedure create flexibility at the incision site for growth and movement of your fingers.
To achieve your goals, Dr. Zelken may recommend one or a combination of techniques. Depending on your condition and type of treatment you may have incisions that need to be closed with removable sutures or we may use non-removable sutures. As swelling subsides, the results of you hand surgery will gradually become more evident.
After your hand surgery, bandages or dressings may be applied to keep the surgical site clean, and splints may also be used. Dr. Zelken will give you specific instructions regarding how to best care for your hand(s) following surgery and medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection. We will also schedule follow-up appointment to monitor your progress.
It’s important that you follow all of our postoperative instructions, including any hand therapy exercises that we advise, as therapy is critical to restoring strength, flexibility and movement and is essential to a successful outcome. The final outcome of your hand surgery will develop over time. While advances in hand surgery and Dr. Zelken’s skilled techniques can accomplish near miracles in reconstruction and replantation, for certain traumatic injuries, it may not be possible to achieve completely normal function. If you had surgery to correct carpal tunnel syndrome, modifying work habits as recommended is vital to long-term improvement. And if your procedure involved microsurgery, a year is considered appropriate to attain restored function completely.
If you’re considering hand surgery or if you have questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a consultation with Dr. Zelken. We’re located at 1617 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach, CA, and we can be reached at (949) 432-4730. We serve patients from across the world — we have a Mandarin Chinese-speaking physician — along with clients in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach, California.
The results of body contouring following significant weight loss are visible almost immediately; however, it can take two years or more to see the final results. If you maintain a stable weight and general fitness, the results of body contouring are will last a long time. As your body ages, though, it is natural to lose some firmness. Still, most of your initial improvement following body contouring surgery should remain.
We will also go over the risks associated with hand surgery, and you will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure, risks and potential complications. We may also ask that you get a lab test or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, herbal supplements and other medications that may increase bleeding during surgery. Dr. Zelken will insist that you stop smoking prior to the procedure. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of hand surgery are acceptable. If your surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, it’s important that you arrange for someone to drive you to and from the procedure. We will, of course, work with you to coordinate care after you leave our facility with one of our post-operative care consultants.
Your health insurance plans will likely cover hand surgery, related complications or another surgery to reconstruct your appearance. In that case, precertiﬁcation would be required for reimbursement or coverage. Be sure to consult with your insurance company in advance. And remember, too, that your satisfaction involves more than a price tag. The surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery. At the Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine, you’ll get an award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience who focuses on your needs and comfort throughout the entire process.
Written by Dr. Jonathan Zelken
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