Reagan to Undergo Surgery on Finger
President Reagan will undergo surgery on the ring finger of his left hand Saturday to repair a slight involuntary contracture, the White House announced Tuesday.
The condition, known as Dupuytren’s Contracture, was described by Army Col. John E. Hutton Jr., the President’s physician, as minimal at the time Reagan took office in 1981, but Hutton said in a written statement that it had progressed sufficiently to require surgery.
The President, who is scheduled to return to the White House Thursday after a two-week vacation in Southern California, will be admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington Friday afternoon and is expected to return to the White House Sunday. The two- to three-hour procedure will be carried out Saturday morning, under regional anesthesia of the arm. Hutton said that general anesthesia is not necessary.
The condition is a progressive, usually painless contraction of the fingers for which there is no treatment other than surgery.
The surgery requires a bulky post-operative dressing from the fingers to the upper arm for several days, and, in some cases, the use of a splint.