Do you suffer from hand, finger or wrist pain? Are you dealing with inflammation and loss of sensation in your hands? Has your grip strength weakened? Are your joints tender and swollen? If you have these symptoms limiting your life or distracting you from enjoying your activities to the fullest, get help from a well trained hand doctor in the NJ area.
Luckily, there are many great doctors to treat your hand problems with non-invasive means or through hand surgery. The hard part is finding the best hand surgeon for you.
How can you evaluate hand doctors when it’s not your area of expertise? We are here to help you with some tips we often learn from our own patients about how they found us. The first thing to remember is that not every surgeon is right for every patient.
So, you are not obliged to (or advised to) choose the first qualified NJ hand doctor you meet with. Although certain medical qualifications are paramount when choosing a top hand surgeon, you must choose the hand doctor you trust most from a group of well-qualified, ideally elite, NJ hand surgeons.
Hand Doctor = Hand Surgeon
We use the terms hand doctor and hand surgeon interchangeably because we want to emphasize that, in this field of medicine, surgeons don’t always focus solely on surgical solutions. Other surgeons have a similar wide scope of treatment. For instance, vascular surgeons generally provide many non-invasive treatments in their practice besides surgery.
They often start with something as simple as compression stockings. Your Bergen County hand doctor should be the same way, only recommending surgery when it is appropriate. Your hand doctor will recommend and perform hand surgery only when it will benefit your condition in long-term ways (and ways that no other type of treatment can).
This solution applies to some cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fractures, hand injuries and more.
If your history shows you have tried other viable means (if any) of eliminating your pain and improving range of motion in your hands, an elite hand surgeon will likely recommend surgery and will perform the proper type of (typically minimally-invasive) hand surgery.
Your hand doctor will know just which type of surgery will benefit you. He or she will plan the surgery to fit your individual needs, concerns and anatomy. Your hand surgeon will also clearly explain the surgical plan to you, along with any options to improve your hands, aesthetically and functionally.
Hand Surgery is Safe and Effective with the Right Surgeon
Although hand surgery is a last resort for hand problems, it is extremely safe and typically improves lives immensely for patients who choose the right surgeon. Most hand surgeries are minimally invasive and extremely successful when you choose your surgeon carefully.
Your goal: to choose an NJ-area hand doctor to work with who is well trained, experienced and patient focused, in whom you can place your complete confidence. By patient focused, we mean a surgeon who will take time to properly plan your surgery to suit your needs—and who will not do the hand surgery exactly the same way for you as for everyone else.
Your Hand Doctor’s Medical Skills, Experience and Education
Before deciding if a hand doctor is perfect for you, make sure to check his or her credentials, including:
- Current licensure with the state of NJ Dept. of Consumer Affairs.
- Training and experience in general surgery and plastic surgery, with hand surgery specialization.
- Surgical experience should include reconstructive hand surgery, even if your surgery is not that involved. Check the surgeon’s website, bio and/or CV and also ask them.
- Surgical privileges, ideally at a top university hospital (Although your hand surgery is not generally performed in a hospital, surgical privileges indicate that surgeon has been evaluated, is trusted and has a good reputation at the hospital.) Check the surgeon’s website and/or ask them.
- Medical degree and residency at well known institutions. Check the surgeon’s website and/or ask them.
- Recent and/or continuing medical education to keep up with the latest techniques in hand surgery. Check the surgeon’s website and/or ask them.
Get Personalized Care from a Top Hand Doctor in NJ
Focus placed on you, as an individual, is one of the key advantages you receive from a top hand specialist. Make sure the surgeon you choose is interested in you and focused on meeting your needs. Your needs are as unique as you are. For instance, a pro baseball player might have a different set of needs and goals for hand surgery than a pianist or a history professor.
Of course, it’s not only your profession that makes you unique from every other patient—that is just one example area of your patient profile. Your health, your age, your preferences and more must be taken into account when choosing the right hand surgery or treatment for you.
Because the hands are so crucial to your livelihood, enjoyment of life and communication, you should choose an elite hand doctor, a true specialist, so that you receive wise council and ensure the best outcome from your surgery.
Finding the Best Hand Doctor, Right Here in Northern NJ
At Cohen/Winters Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery in Bergen County, we believe that our dedication and patient focus are what makes us one of the best hand surgery practices out there. We consider it our calling to help people improve their lives through hand surgery that may also include: reconstructive surgery combined with plastic surgery skills and/or delicate microsurgery.
Although we bring elite skills and dedication to the table, we know that we’re not the right hand doctors for everyone, nor will all patients be good candidates for hand surgery. We are happy to help you with information and advice about hand surgery and how it might improve your condition.
If we go forward with hand surgery, we will partner with you for success. We urge you to schedule an appointment with Cohen/Winters to learn more.