What is a fasciectomy?
Fasciectomy (say "fash-ee-EK-tuh-mee") is surgery to cut out a layer of tissue called the fascia (say "FASH-ee-uh") that lies deep under the skin. In Dupuytren's (say "doo-pwee-TRAHNZ") contracture, the fascia of the palm of the hand becomes thick and tight. This causes the fingers to become stiff and to curl toward the palm. Removing the fascia can help relax the fingers.
This surgery may be done while you are asleep or while you are awake. If you are awake, you will get medicine to numb your hand and prevent pain. You may also get medicine to help you relax.
The doctor will make a cut, called an incision, in the skin of your palm. The thickened fascia will be removed. The doctor will close the incision in your palm with stitches. After surgery, you will have a scar on your palm and on one or more fingers. This will fade with time.
You will go home on the same day as the surgery. It will probably take about 6 weeks for your hand to heal. How soon you can return to work depends on your job. If you can do your job without using your hand, you may be able to go back in 1 to 2 weeks. But if your job requires you to do repeated finger or hand movements, put pressure on your hand, or lift things, you may need to take 6 to 12 weeks off work.
For the first few weeks after surgery, you will probably need to wear a splint. You may need to do hand exercises to help reduce the swelling and stiffness. After several weeks, your hand and fingers may be more flexible. You may be better able to fully open your hand.
How do you prepare for surgery?
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter M358 in the search box to learn more about "Fasciectomy for Dupuytren's Contracture: Before Your Surgery".