At the Robert A. Chase Hand and Upper Limb Center, we specialize in the care of the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Our team includes surgeons from Orthopaedic Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as a dedicated clinical support staff.
If surgery is scheduled, you will receive specific, personalized instructions. Following these instructions as well as the basic guidelines on this site can help ensure a smooth and successful treatment experience.
Eating before surgery
Remember not to eat or drink anything after midnight prior to your surgery, or as directed by your anesthesiologist. This includes water, breath mints and even chewing gum. Having food in your stomach can create a risk during surgery.
Consult your doctor about whether you should discontinue taking regularly scheduled medication, herbal products or aspirin prior to surgery. If you are advised to continue taking your medication, you should take it with only a sip of water. Do not take any aspirin or any aspirin-containing products at least 7 days prior to your surgical procedure. This includes any anti-inflammatory medications. If you have any questions regarding this or any medication you are currently taking on a regular basis, please call and speak to your physician's nurse or medical practitioner.
Plan to arrive early for surgery
You must plan to arrive at the hospital at least 2 hours prior to your scheduled surgery time. Your Surgery Coordinator will call you with this time one day prior to your surgery date.
Arrange for a ride after surgery
Be sure to make arrangements in advance to have a responsible adult drive you home and be available to you after surgery. You will not be able to drive yourself home nor can you use a taxi. Please make arrangements for someone to drive you.
Questions about anesthesia?
Your anesthesiologist may call you the night before your surgery to answer any questions you have regarding anesthesia. Your Surgery Coordinator does not know who the Anesthesiologist will be and cannot answer questions pertaining to anesthesia or anesthesia billing.
Do not sunbathe at least one week prior to surgery due to the risk of sunburn. Refrain from smoking after midnight and during the day of your surgery.
Day of surgery
Before you leave home
Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing so that you can change easily after surgery. Do not wear makeup, nail polish or jewelry. Bring your health insurance card and insurance forms with you. Leave all valuable items at home. Bring any X-rays, MRI scans, lab studies, physician orders, etc. that may relate to your surgery.
Our surgeons operate at three facilities: Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City, Ambulatory Surgery Center in Palo Alto and Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto. Your surgery scheduler will confirm the surgery location with you:
Outpatient Surgery Centerat the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center (Redwood City, CA)
Ambulatory Surgery Center at the Stanford Advanced Medicine Center/Cancer Center (Palo Alto, CA)
Stanford Hospital (Palo Alto, CA)
When you arrive
To ensure that there is adequate time to fill out the necessary forms and prepare for surgery, please arrive at your designated facility at least two hours before your scheduled procedure. Family members and friends are welcome to join you. Upon arrival at the facility, please register at the Patient Registration Area located inside the reception area. You will then be escorted to a preparation room, where you'll be asked to change into a hospital gown. At this time, a nurse will perform a simple physical examination to check your weight, blood pressure and temperature. From the pre-operative area, you will then be taken to the operating suite for your procedure. During the time that you are in surgery, your family and friends are welcome to wait in the reception area.
After-hours URGENT calls: 650-723-6661 (Ask for the hand surgery physician on-call)
Keep your dressings clean and dry until your doctor says otherwise. If you need to bathe or shower, cover the dressings with a plastic bag taped securely at the opening to prevent getting wet, and keep the area out of the direct stream of water. If your dressing becomes wet, call your doctor immediately. DO NOT remove or modify the dressing unless instructed by your doctor.
Elevate your arm and hand
To prevent and minimize swelling and pain, raise the hand/arm above the level of the heart for 3-5 days. When indicated, you will be given a sling or blue Carter pillow. The hand may be held down only for brief periods of time. Continue to elevate the hand if swelling or pain persists after 3-5 days. Move your unaffected joints on the surgical side as much as possible to help with swelling and prevent stiffness. For example, if you had surgery on your thumb, then move your shoulder, elbow, wrist and other fingers.
Are you having tingling or burning in your arm or hand?
If you had a local or regional block anesthetic, your arm or hand may be numb for several hours or even overnight. As the numbness wears off, you may have a tingling or burning sensation which will eventually disappear. If the numbness persists after 24 hours, call your doctor. Protect your arm from potential injury, e.g., car doors, cuts, excessive heat or cold, etc. Use the sling or blue Carter pillow provided to you.
Take your pain medication
Start your prescribed pain medication as soon as you get home, DO NOT WAIT for the anesthetic to wear off. In order to minimize nausea, eat some food before taking your medication. Consult your doctor for severe pain that is not relieved by the medication and elevation.
Scleroderma seriously restricted blood flow to Melissa Warde’s fingers. Delicate microsurgery by a Stanford microvascular surgeon allowed her to avoid amputation.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
We share your goal of providing the best possible care and coordination of care for your patients. While patients are welcome to contact our clinic directly, we also encourage communication between our surgeons and referring physicians. Throughout and after their treatment at Stanford, it is important that patients maintain close contact with their primary care and referring physicians.
Stanford Health Care provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions, visit Referring Physicians.
HOW TO REFER
Fax a referral form with supporting documentation to 650-320-9443.
Track your patients' progress and communicate with Stanford providers securely online.