It’s no secret that your hands are important to your everyday well-being. Problems with your hands may cause impairment, severely impacting your quality of life.
A variety of surgical procedures designed for the hand are available and range anywhere from traumatic injuries to infections, arthritis, carpal tunnel, trigger fingers, ganglions, tumors, and tendonitis. While surgery may be required sometimes, potential patients should also know that non-surgical options are out there as well.
Hand surgery is typically considered a reconstructive procedure and may be covered by health insurance. Pre-certification is generally required for reimbursement or coverage. Be sure to consult with your insurance company in advance of any surgery.
Hand surgery costs may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests
When choosing a plastic surgeon for hand surgery, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
How Much Does Hand Surgery Cost?
The cost of hand surgery is determined by the type of surgery and the location where it is conducted. When the facility fee, doctor’s fee, and x-rays are taken into account, hand surgery can cost anywhere from $1,800 to more than $25,000, depending on the procedure.
Non-surgical alternatives can cost as little as $10,000, while complex surgery can cost as much as $20,000 or more.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common ailment that necessitates surgery. This is a disorder that puts pressure on the median nerve at the wrist, and treatment can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,500, depending on the institution and surgeon.
Another problem is carpometacarpal bossing, which occurs when a little immovable protuberance generates a bloated joint. The cost of this operation might range from $2,000 to $4,000.
Rheumatoid arthritis, a persistent systemic inflammatory disorder that can impair tissue and organs in the hand, can develop in older persons. Surgery for rheumatoid arthritis might cost anything from $3,000 to $5,500.
Dupuytren’s Contracture is a condition that causes the hand to become immobile. This is a thick scar tissue that runs from the palm to the fingertip, causing the hand to be restricted in its movements. The cost of radiation treatments alone for this operation might range from $11,000 to $18,000.
Depending on the severity of the procedure, reconstructive hand surgery might cost anywhere from $700 to $4,500.
An Overview of Hand Surgery
Most of the time, arthroscopic surgery will be minimally invasive. Before surgery is even considered, an orthopedic surgeon will discuss your condition and let you know which options are available.
They will want to evaluate your medical history, examine your hand, discuss your options and recommend a successful course of action. They will also discuss potential results once the surgery has been performed.
Once a course of action has been agreed upon, you may be asked to get bloodwork, stop smoking, or adjust your current medications.
If surgery is necessary, the procedure will often involve an arthroscope, a small tube-shaped instrument designed to be inserted into the affected joint area via a small incision, usually less than a half-inch. This instrument will be used in conjunction with other tools to perform the necessary treatment.
The treatment will, most of the time, be done under local anesthesia; however, if the surgery requires plates or wires to fix a broken hand, for example, then general anesthesia may be required.
The most popular hand surgical procedures performed include carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cysts, Dupuytren’s Contracture, de Quervain’s Tendonitis, trigger finger, fractures, and arthritis.
The most popular procedure, which involves repairing a tendon, will involve a slight incision followed by surgically fusing the retracted tendon together again to restore function.
A carpal tunnel procedure will involve creating a small incision from the middle of the palm to the wrist, allowing the surgeon to access the constricted tissue that’s causing the pressure on the nerve.
Birth deformities, referred to as syndactyly, will involve separating the two fingers to offer a fuller range of motion as well as a normal appearance. This surgery may entail grafting the skin or using a flap procedure to create flexibility at the incision site.
After the surgery has been performed, the hand will be wrapped and placed in a splint to heal. You will then be given specific instructions on how to take care of your hand. This will include medications to take, how to properly clean it to avoid infection, and/or when to follow up with your surgeon.
Depending on the doctor and/or hospital, the fees mentioned above may include the following: surgeon’s fee, hospital fee, anesthesia fees, prescriptions, and medical tests. All hospitals will have their own inclusions.
What are the extra costs?
During the surgery, anesthesia is going to be needed to help control the pain. Hospitals will charge upwards of $600 to $1,000 per shot administered.
Hospitalization may be required during the initial days after the surgery is performed so the physician can monitor the condition. The fee for hospitals will differ based on location, but it can cost up to $1,800 to $2,400 per day without insurance.
To take care of the hand after surgery, a hand splint may be required to provide support for the hand. Prescription medication will also be necessary to keep the pain and swelling down. Physical therapy sessions may be needed for those struggling to heal or regain strength.
Tips to know
Common hand surgery risks may include blood clotting, infections, anesthesia risks, swelling, poor healing, allergies, thrombosis, and pain.
Some hand disorders and injuries can progressively get worse over time and treatment may be the only option to see an improved outcome.
How can I save money?
Consult with your doctor to talk about alternative medicine options that don’t require surgery. If you don’t have health insurance, see if the provider offers a cash discount.
Talk with your health insurance provider to see if the procedure will be covered; if so, you may only be responsible for your co-pay and/or deductible. As long as it’s deemed medically necessary, the procedure should be covered.
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