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WASH – An Innovative Alternative to Hand Surgery

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Posted August 07, 2015 in News

Traditionally, when you think of hand surgery you think of a bright operating room lights, fasting, and anesthesia.
What if I told you that you didnt have to go through all that to get your tendon repair, tenolysis, or tendon transfer taken care of?
Wide Awake Surgery of the Hand, or WASH, is a revolutionary method that utilizes safe and effective techniques to preform hand surgery without the need for a tourniquet, and thus eliminated the need for general anesthesia or sedation. In lieu of anesthesia, a local anesthetic is implemented so the patient is awake during the procedure. This sedation-free surgery is much like one that you would get at the dentist or the dermatologist! WASH can be used for an array of hand related issues including carpel tunnel, extensor tendon repair, trigger finger, and many more ailments.
WASH will alleviate all of the risks and annoyances that come with general anesthesia and sedation. This procedure is perfect for individuals with busy schedules. Professionals, busy moms, the self-employed and small business owners will all benefit from the lack of recovery time from WASH. These patients will sometimes tolerate the pain associated with their hand for years in order to avoid the disturbance surgery might bring to their life. In most instances, had surgery sets patients back a few days for recovery and the actual surgery. However, with WASH you are able to get your hand pain taken care of and only have to take a few hours total! Another great benefit of WASH is the affordability. If you have a high deductible or cant afford the fees from the anesthesiology or surgery center, WASH is the way to go. The procedures can be done in an office setting and are without the need of an anesthesiologist, saving you money and time.
There are some more huge and convincing differences between traditional and surgery and the WASH method. See our chart below to compare the two methods.

Traditional hand surgery


In many cases a visit to the primary care is needed for check-up and lab work No lab work or pre-op physicals needed, just you and your hurt hand!
Patients have to fast for several hours prior to surgery No need to fast, may enjoy your usual cup of coffee or a light lunch on the way to have your hand problem taken care of
An IV is needed to give medications No IV needed
Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is given with the potential for: nausea and vomiting after surgery, feeling groggy the rest of the day, the feeling of loss of control. None, the patient is wide awake during the procedure, talking to the doctor and nurse, or listening to their favorite tunes.
In many occasions a block of the entire arm is used to help control the discomfort associated with having a tourniquet, which brings a set of problems including the strange feelings in the arm, heaviness of the arm, the risk of having a lung collapse when an upper arm block is used Local anesthesia is given through a very small needle only to the area to undergo the procedure. Freezing spray is used first to numb the site of needle. The local anesthesia has a special mixture that makes the numbing medicine virtually painless
The surgeon can rarely test the strength of the repair since the patient is no cooperating with the exam. In most cases the surgeon can test the strength of the repair by asking the patient to move their hand at the end of the procedure. Therefore, any necessary adjustments can be performed immediately. The increased confidence given to the surgeon in the procedure he or she performed allows him to put the patient on the way to recovery much earlier.

If you think youd be a good candidate for WASH, call our office at (703) 574-2588 to schedule a consult with Dr. Nukta.