Hand Surgery

If you're having difficulty using your wrists or hands, it can affect your comfort, independence, and quality of life. 

Hand surgery can provide relief, but this complex area is notoriously difficult to treat. 

Trust your care to Timothy M. Whitney, MD and James Howell Blackburn II, MD, board-certified surgeons in Bellingham, WA. Both doctors are fellowship-trained in hand surgery and account for 65% of these cases in the area.

What Types of Concerns
Can Hand Surgery Address?

Patients often visit our Bellingham, WA, practice complaining of pain, stiffness, or a loss of strength or mobility in their hand or wrist. Your medical doctor might recommend you visit our Bellingham, WA, office if you're suffering from the effects of:

  • Arthritis
  • A fracture or other type of injury
  • Nerve damage
  • Congenital issues
  • Trigger finger
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • De Quervain tenosynovitis
  • Dupuytren's contracture

Regardless of your unique situation, we are confident we can help you. During an initial consultation, we'll discuss your concerns and conduct a thorough examination to find the root cause of the issue.

Our Surgeons Specialize in Two Conditions

a woman with trigger finger

Trigger Finger

When you develop trigger finger, the tendon in the finger or thumb becomes swollen. You might have difficulty straightening the finger and experience pain. Eventually, your finger may become locked in a bent position. Arthritis can be a contributing risk factor for this hand condition, as well as injuries resulting from repetitive motions.

In mild cases, anti-inflammatory medications and a night splint might help. We also commonly administer cortisone shots for our patients.

If more conservative methods fail to provide relief, surgery can enlarge the area the tendon passes through. This outpatient surgery is safe and effective and requires minimal recovery time.

a hand with Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren's Contracture

Your hand contains a tough, protective layer between the skin and tendons called the palmar fascia. In people who develop Dupuytren's contracture, this tissue thickens and contracts, creating hard nodules and bands that pull the fingers toward your palm.

Although there are less invasive treatments available, such as XIAFLEX® enzyme injections or needle aponeurotomy, they're generally associated with a high rate of recurrence. 

Our surgeons will most likely recommend hand surgery to effectively treat Dupuytren's contracture and prevent it from returning. We have performed more than 500 hand surgeries for Dupuytren's contracture alone. 

"Had carpal tunnel surgery here. EVERYONE was great, amazing and nice. I would highly recommend this place to anyone!" Kelli Miller

Choose Our Bellingham, WA, Surgeons
For Expert, Trusted Care

Collectively, Timothy M. Whitney, MD and James Howell Blackburn II, MD have been performing surgery to treat hand and wrist conditions for more than 60 years. They know the medical anatomy of this complex area better than anyone. 

Injuries like fractures and conditions affecting the nerves and tendons can have debilitating repercussions. With help from our Bellingham, WA, team, you can find relief and live life to the fullest again. 

Plastic Surgery Bellingham is always welcoming new patients, and we would love to hear from you. Message our office to get started or call:

Doctors at Plastic Surgery Bellingham
Our surgeons handle 65% of hand surgeries in the area.

​We Have Our Own Surgical Facility

Our practice has its own attached surgical facility. This provides two major benefits: it allows for more private, discreet care and can help our patients avoid hospital fees. You'll also be seen by the same team for personal, streamlined care.

"They are all just wonderful, caring,  and compassionate people."


Jessica Rowan


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"Dr. Whitney and his entire staff are absolutely AMAZING! There truly is no place I would rather go. He has been doing this for a very long time and truly knows his stuff. He is very passionate about what he does and is extremely skilled at it. He takes his time to answer any and all questions and concerns that you may have and has the most caring bedside manner. I cannot recommend this place enough, they are all just wonderful, caring, and compassionate people. Thank you PSB!"

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​Wrist and Hand Surgery FAQ

We truly care about the success of your surgery, and will take all the time necessary to answer your questions and educate you on your condition so you can make informed decisions about your medical treatment.

Do I Really Need Surgery?

In many cases, you will not. Our doctors will never push unnecessary procedures and will always exhaust conservative treatment options first. That said, in many situations we've found that surgery often provides the best outcome, such as in the case of Dupuytren's contracture. We will be honest in our recommendation for the best way to treat your concerns–whether that involves surgical treatment or not.

Do You Offer Physical Therapy for Wrist and Hand Conditions?

Our Bellingham, WA, team does not have any physical therapists on staff. However, we can refer patients to multiple trusted providers. Often, we'll recommend the largest occupational therapy group in the area–Rebound Therapy.

Don't I Need to See an Orthopedic Specialist?

Orthopedic doctors specialize in the medical treatment of the musculoskeletal system–in other words, the bones, joints, and muscles. While they certainly treat some of the same conditions as our surgeons, like carpal tunnel syndrome, the more important distinction is their area of focus. Timothy M. Whitney, MD and James Howell Blackburn II, MD are fellowship-trained in hand surgery. This distinction makes them highly qualified to treat your concern at our Bellingham, WA, practice.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Hand Surgery?

Your recovery timeline will largely depend on what type of procedure you undergo. We'll provide you with more detailed information when you meet with our team. It's important to follow all of your post-operative instructions, as well as attend occupational therapy appointments if we recommend it.

Do Cortisone Shots in the Wrist or Hand Hurt?

Generally, cortisone shots result in little to no discomfort. However, if you're receiving an injection somewhere like the palm of your hand, this may produce more sensation than a larger area like your knee joint. In some cases, we'll provide a local anesthetic first to numb the area.

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Plastic Surgery Bellingham has been serving the needs of Bellingham patients since 2004. With our board-certified doctors and modern technology, we have the knowledge and the tools to achieve effective results in a safe manner. Drs. James H. Blackburn II and Timothy M. Whitney are affiliated with many prominent organizations, including the:

  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Northwest Society of Plastic Surgery
  • Whatcom County Medical Society
  • Washington State Medical Society
  • Washington Society of Plastic Surgery

For cosmetic enhancement or reconstructive surgery, request a consultation using our form or call our office at (360) 676-0972.

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