So the typical exploration of the brachial plexus involves an incision longitudinally on the side of the neck, and then horizontally, just above the clavicle. This is a V-type incision, that usually heals quite well. Most of our incisions are closed with absorbable sutures and skin glue and there is very little maintenance. In fact, patients can shower and bathe even the next day. Pain involved with surgery depends on the type of surgery performed. Many of the less involved nerve transfers have very little pain. The pain of the skin incision and the pain of that closure, which often is managed with simple Tylenol and ibuprofen. The more involved type of operations, such as harvesting nerves from between the ribs, can be quite painful and the patient may be in the hospital for several days just for pain control.
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