Carpal Tunnel Surgery, London
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
If you feel a burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of your hand and thumb, or index and middle fingers you may have a carpal tunnel syndrome.
You might first notice that your fingers “fall asleep” and become numb at night. That usually happens in the evening because of the relaxed position of your hand and while sleeping. In the morning, you may wake up with numbness and tingling in your hands that may run all the way to your shoulder.
For patients who have already tried physio and medication to no avail, then the surgery could provide relief from the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
This procedure is remarkably simple yet effective.
It is carried out under local anaesthetic and involves a small incision into the wrist area to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This often creates immediate relief in the symptoms.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer carpal tunnel treatment as simple ‘walk-in, walk out’ day case procedure. There is no need for an overnight stay or a lengthy recovery.
We are now offering this procedure for private patients in our London Harley Street clinic.
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Causes of Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the main nerve of your hand, which runs the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the fingers. This nerve controls the movement and feeling of your thumb, and also the movement of all your fingers except your baby finger.
Often, people don’t know what brought on their carpal tunnel, however, it can happen due to any combination of such as:
- Repetitive hand use: Repeated use of the same hand and wrist motions or activities over a prolonged period can cause swelling of the tissue.
- Health issues: Certain conditions, such as obesity, arthritis, hypothyroidism, and diabetes, can cause swelling in your wrist.
- Pregnancy: Hormonal changes in pregnancy can lead to swelling.
Carpal tunnel symptoms gradually increase over time. They may come and go at first; but once the condition worsens, the symptoms become more frequent and can last for a more extended period. You will find your grip strength to weaken because the muscles in your hand have shrunk. The pain will have increased, you may lose feeling in your fingers, and you can lose the ability to pinch with your thumb. You could wind up with permanent muscle damage and lose the function of your hand.
Most patients will be offered non-surgical options first. These are:
- Immobilization/ Physiotherapy: A splint on your wrist can keep your wrist from moving, lessening the pressure on the nerves and allow the median nerve to rest.
- Medication: Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to reduce and relieve the swelling.
Should these not work or the symptoms continue to be persistent then the next step would be a more definitive surgical procedure
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
This is a relatively straightforward procedure:
- Local anaesthetic used to numb the area
- The surgeon makes a small incision into the wrist area to relieve the pressure on the nerve
- Takes about 15-30 minutes
Outcomes are excellent – often an immediate relief in the symptoms.
Day case surgery
Pain settles over a few days and you will need to keep the wound covered until the stitches are removed 10-14 days later
Outcomes are excellent – often an immediate relief in the symptoms
|Carpal Tunnel Treatment||Cost|
|Consultation with surgeon||£150|
|Carpal tunnel surgery||£2,000|
|Follow up at 1 & 2 weeks||Included free of charge
A consultation with our Carpal Tunnel Surgeon is required prior to treatment.
Your Surgeon is Dr Aoife Turner is a hand surgeon who has great expertise in dealing with Carpal tunnel release surgery. She uses a mini-incision technique to make the scar as small as possible.
Our prices are lower than most other hospitals and clinics as we have set this service up with the aim of providing affordable care with expert surgeons that allows patients to simply walk in have their procedure done and walk out the same day.
How Do I Book an Appointment?
Our medical advisors would be happy to make an appointment for you:
The consultation fee is payable on booking. We have a 48-hour cancellation policy.
Option 1 – consultation only (30 mins) where you are unsure of your diagnosis
Option 2 – consultation & treatment (60 mins) where you have been given a diagnosis by your GP or other doctor or confident of the self-made diagnosis.
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Your carpal tunnel surgery questions answered
What types of surgery are available for carpal tunnel?
There are classically 3 types –
- A standard incision that allows greater view and access but leaves a bigger scar
- A mini-incision that is done through a small incision for direct view ensuring the complete release of the ligament causing the compression
- Endoscopically – that involves putting a mini telescope into the area to cut the ligament and is done under a general anaesthetic.
Dr Turner’s preference is the mini-incision as it allows it to be done under local anaesthetic and gives a perfect view to ensure there is no collateral injury to other structures and is also much quicker as it will generally only take 15-20 minutes to perform.
What is involved in the procedure?
The hand surgeon will inject a local anaesthetic at the wrist and hand.
Once the area is numb a small cut will be made in the base of the palm of your hand, about 1cm-1.5cm long. Through this incision, the surgeon will cut through the band of tissue on the carpal tunnel releasing the compression on the nerve. During the procedure, a blood pressure cuff will be inflated on the upper arm to reduce blood flow to the operating field.
The procedure takes on average 15 minutes.
Once the cut has been sutured and a dressing applied your doctor will go through the aftercare with you and arrange the follow-up appointments.
What do I need to be aware of in advance of this procedure?
Guidelines – preparing for carpal tunnel surgery:
- We would advise you not to drive to the clinic on the day of your operation as you will have a bandage on your hand after the procedure.
- Wear loose comfortable clothing above the waist.
- You do NOT need to stop taking your blood-thinning medication prior to surgery.
- Continue taking all your regular medications as normal.
- If you wear rings check that they can be removed easily.
- You may eat and drink normally as the procedure will be carried out in local anaesthetic.
What can I expect after carpal tunnel release surgery?
The anaesthetic will take a few hours to wear off so you may still have some tingling in your hand.
Your hand will be slightly swollen and this is helped by elevating your hand above your heart. Sometimes people like to wear a sling to help them remember. This settles over a week or so
Pain settles over a few days and you will need to keep the wound covered until the stitches are removed 10-14 days later.
A gentle movement of the fingers is encouraged from day 1 and very light normal daily use is also advised.
How painful is carpal tunnel after surgery?
Pain directly at the incision is typically only present for days or weeks after the surgery simple oral medication such as ibuprofen will be sufficient.
Protecting the incision can help alleviate pain, and it’s important to avoid lifting or gripping for several weeks after carpal tunnel surgery.
Can I use my hand after carpal tunnel surgery?
Once your sutures are removed, you can increase activities as tolerated but avoid heavy repetitive activities for 4 weeks after surgery. Most patients who have carpal tunnel release regain full use of their hand, with full motion and return of strength within about 4 weeks after their surgery.
Post op aftercare advice
- Sleep with the hand outstretched on a pillow.
- Keep your arm elevated to reduce swelling.
- The local anaesthetic can take up to 8 hours to wear off so hand may still feel a bit tingly for this time.
- On Day 1 after surgery start to do the finger mobility exercises as demonstrated to you by your surgeon.
- Leave the outer dressings on for 2-3 days and try to keep dry. After this, the thicker bandage can be removed.
- A wound check will take place 4-6 days after surgery.
- Your sutures will be removed between days 10-14 after surgery.
- Avoid putting pressure on the wound during the healing phase (first 2 weeks) however light use of the operated hand for everyday activities such as dressing, cooking etc. is encouraged.
- Take oral pain medication as instructed by your surgeon.
- You may experience some discomfort in the days following your surgery however on any increasing pain, redness, swelling, temperatures please contact the clinic on 02073860464
- Once the sutures have been removed care for your scar by massaging and moisturising it daily.
- Heavy lifting and sports that involve the hand should be avoided for 4 weeks post-surgery.
- Depending on your job you can normally return to work after 1-2 weeks
When can I drive after carpal tunnel surgery?
Do not drive unless you feel completely safe and ready to do so. You should not drive while under the influence of local anaesthetic or pain/painkillers that make you lose concentration or feel tired.
Before you drive, check that you can move your hand and wrist as fully as you need to drive safely. You need to be able to grip and control the steering wheel and gearstick, plus ensure that you are fully able to perform an emergency stop.
When you feel ready, start with a short journey with a friend or family member.
You should check with your insurance company whether your cover is affected, but you don’t need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about carpal tunnel surgery unless recovery is likely to take over 3 months.
How long before I can go back to work?
Most people take 1-2 weeks off work depending on their job. If it is a more manual or high repetitive type of work a longer period of recuperation may be required.
Where do you carry out carpal tunnel surgery?
Carpal tunnel appointments and treatment are available at our clinic in Harley Street, London.
The clinic is fully registered with Care Quality Commission.