Relaxed hands held up palms facing outward.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where there is tingling, pins and needles, or numbness of certain fingers. This can be combined with hand weakness or just altered sensation. It is often quite debilitating. The carpal tunnel is a space at the wrist through which one of your nerves and a number of your tendons pass. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is insufficient space in the carpal tunnel, and the median nerve begins to be compressed.

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Is this surgery right for me?

There are different treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome. The first stage might include resting that particular hand or wearing a splint at night. This may be all that is required to relieve your symptoms. If you have tried conservative management or it is not an option for you, then you may be interested in a steroid injection into your wrist, or surgery (carpal tunnel release).

All of the therapies aim to achieve the same goal – to avoid nerve compression. At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we discuss this with you and aim to help guide you with your decision making process.

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Two hands with little fingers intertwined.

What does the procedure
journey look like?

To begin your journey at Tailored Plastic Surgery, you will typically have an initial consultation to discuss your goals and see how we can help you. After a second consultation and a cooling-off period of one week, if you wish to proceed, we will schedule the surgery on a date that suits you. We will discuss the steps you need to take in the lead-up to your surgery, and also on the day of your procedure.

After the procedure, you will likely have a dressing on the wound which should be kept clean and dry. Specific instructions will be given to you after the procedure. You may experience some discomfort a number of hours after the procedure once the effects of the local anaesthetic wear off, and these are usually easily addressed with pain medications that can be purchased over the counter at supermarkets or pharmacies. You should be able to go home on the same day.

You should be able to return to work within one or two weeks depending on what your regular occupation is. We advise against strenuous physical activity and exercise within the first two weeks.

Four phases of plastic surgery journey. Phase 1: 1 hour consultation to discuss goals. Phase 2: Book and prepare for your surgery. Phase 3: 1 day, the procedure. Phase 4: 6-8 weeks post surgery, the recovery.

Procedure Risks

Carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure performed to relieve symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition characterised by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. In addition to general surgery, there are some potential procedure specific risks and complications involved, including:


As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. Following proper postoperative care instructions and maintaining good hygiene can help minimise this risk.

Nerve or Blood Vessel Injury:

During the carpal tunnel release procedure, there is a small risk of inadvertently damaging nearby nerves or blood vessels. This can result in temporary or, rarely, permanent sensory changes, weakness, or vascular complications.

Scarring and Adhesions:

After the surgery, scar tissue may form around the incision site. In some cases, this scar tissue can cause adhesions, which may lead to restricted finger or wrist movement.

Recurrence of Symptoms

Although carpal tunnel release surgery is designed to alleviate symptoms, there is a small possibility that symptoms may recur over time. Regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon can help monitor your condition and address any recurring symptoms.

Still unsure? Here are some FAQs..

How long after my procedure will I see an improvement in my symptoms?

Most people feel relief in their symptoms as soon as the local anaesthetic wears off. Some people have no more pain, while others may have some residual symptoms which are much improved. Usually, the longer you have had symptoms before having your procedure, the longer it will take for the symptoms to fully resolve. At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we are here to guide you through your procedure and the post-operative journey.

Can I have a carpal tunnel release if I haven’t tried non-surgical treatments first?

At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we believe that everyone’s journey is unique to them, and therefore, what may work for one person may not be appropriate for another. We will discuss your concerns and goals with you, and then work on a treatment pathway together with you, to best help you in your particular circumstances.

Is there anything i should do before my appointment?

Before your appointment, you may wish to try non-operative treatments, including wearing a splint at night to help with the pain. It is also helpful to have a nerve conduction study to confirm how severe the carpal tunnel syndrome is, which your General Practitioner can help arrange.

Will I have a scar?

Any time you have surgery that affects all the layers of the skin, a scar is formed. At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we are experienced in techniques that aim to both minimise any scarring, as well as hide the scarring in less noticeable places.

Can I have carpal tunnel release on both of my hands at the same time?

While it may seem convenient to treat both sides at the same time, the recovery might be a bit difficult if you have both hands bandaged. At Tailored Plastic Surgery, we are happy to discuss your treatment priorities with you and target your treatment towards your individual goals.