Finger reattachment (or replacement) is the reattachment of the part of the finger that has been completely amputated, usually due to trauma.
Before the surgery
The surgical team splits into two sub-teams:
Operating room sub-team cleans the amputated finger with sterile solution, places it on ice, and identifies and tags nerves and blood vessels. Dead or damaged tissue is surgically removed.
Emergency room sub-team gives you a physical exam. Fluids are given intravenously and a tetanus injection, and antibiotics are administered. Usually, finger reattachments are performed with a local anesthetic and a nerve block to numb the affected arm.
The bone in the amputated finger is shortened.
- The finger is attached and stabilized with special wire sutures and pins.
- Once the two finger segments are fixed, the extensor and flexor tendons are repaired.
- Healthy arteries and veins are sutured together without tension.
- Using a microscope to magnify the finger, the nerves are re-attached.
- A skin flap covers the surgical wounds and is loosely sutured in place.
Wounds are covered with small strips of gauze with petrolatum.
The hand is wrapped in a bulky compression dressing.
Medications to increase blood flow and an anticoagulant are used.
- A tranquilizer may be given to reduce unnecessary blood vessel movement that can occur due to anxiety.
- The staff monitors the color, the capacity of blood vessels, capillary refill, and skin warmth of the finger.
- Your room will be warm, and bed rest for two to three days is recommended.
- You must refrain from smoking and take antibiotics for one week after surgery.
- Follow-up consultations are necessary for continued wound care and rehabilitation.