Post Operative Instructions





Most of Dr Bissell’s operations are performed under a local anaesthetic block and sedation rather than a general anaesthetic. This means you will feel falsely comfortable immediately after surgery. The block will wear off over time and regular over the counter medication such as Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen should be taken as soon as the sensation begins to return. These medications are usually adequate to control any pain but stronger analgesia will be provided if required.

Elevating the limb above the heart can also assist in pain relief and swelling, particularly in the first 24 hours.

If pain is worse than expected or not managed with Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or the analgesia provided please call the office during business hours. For after hours assistance please contact your GP or local emergency department.


Please keep your dressings clean and dry until your first post operative appointment unless specifically instructed otherwise. This appointment will be with either Dr Bissell or hand therapy and will be made for you prior to discharge from hospital.

You may need to wrap your limb to protect the dressings in the shower/bath. There are specialised products you can purchase for this, alternatively a plastic bag and tape should suffice.

Activity and rehabilitation

Any joints not involved in surgery should be moved immediately. Any slings can be discontinued after 24 hours unless otherwise instructed. You should not lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee until your first post operative appointment.

If you are referred to hand therapy please follow their instructions explicitly as the successful outcomes of treatment rely not only on surgery itself but also a careful rehabilitation programme as directed by hand therapists.

Follow up

Any initial follow up visits with be made for you prior to discharge from hospital. There may also be an appointment for hand therapy if required. If for some reason these are not provided to you please call the office as soon as possible.

If these appointments are not convenient and need to be rearranged please do so within a few days of the original appointment so as not to negatively affect the outcome of your surgery.


A decision to commence driving after surgery depends not only on your safety but also that of other road users and pedestrians.

As a minimum you should meet the following criteria before you start driving

  • Able to make an emergency stop.
  • Able to grip the steering wheel free from pain
  • Be more than 24 hours after surgery

You should also check with your insurance company as some will refuse to insure you if you are involved in an accident and wearing a cast or splint or taking strong medication that may impair your judgement.

Dr Bissell will discuss a rough timeline of return to normal activities including driving as part of the pre surgery consultation.

If you have any concerns following your hand surgery or wrist surgery, please do not hesitate to call 02 8880 1984 or email

For all appointment and enquiries, please phone 02 8880 1984

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