Meet Dr. Douglas Sammer
Chief of Plastic Surgery's Hand Program

 

As Chief of Plastic Surgery’s Hand Program, Douglas Sammer, M.D., helps pediatric and adult patients with disorders affecting their upper extremities, which includes hands, fingers, and wrists. He is an alumnus of UT Southwestern Medical School, and graduated first in his class.   

Keeping patients happy, healthy, and well informed is Dr. Sammer’s approach to care. He treats patients with issues ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to arthritis to tennis elbow.

With advancements in technology, surgery is becoming less invasive. We can effectively treat more hand injuries and conditions with small incisions, cameras, and medications rather than with large-scale operations.”

Many types of hand and peripheral nerve disorders do not require surgery to resolve. As a result, Dr. Sammer specializes in a comprehensive range of nonsurgical and surgical solutions, including minimally invasive procedures. For some situations, he is able to offer treatment options that take less than an hour to perform, while providing immediate relief and improving function. 

He stresses that UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Hand Program is at the forefront of new treatments for upper extremity and peripheral nerve disorders. So, Dr. Sammer and the team of UT Southwestern hand specialists are often among the first in North Texas to provide many of the latest treatments for hand, wrist, and finger disorders.

For carpal tunnel syndrome, Dr. Sammer says some of the newest techniques only require a mini-incision or endoscopic carpal tunnel release. A very small incision can be made, a camera is then inserted into the carpal tunnel and the nerve is released. He says this option minimizes discomfort from surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome and reduces the recovery time for patients.  

As an expert in diagnosing and treating hand injuries and conditions, Douglas Sammer, M.D., says nonsurgical and surgical innovations are providing more options for patients.

Dr. Sammer is among a handful of physicians in North Texas trained to offer new treatment options for Dupuytren’s contracture. Those include Xiaflex/collagenase, the only FDA-approved nonsurgical option available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“Being able to improve someone’s function – that’s a good feeling,” Dr. Sammer says. “It makes their life easier because they can use their hand better.” 

He is also leading groundbreaking work to reattach fingers using advanced microscopic and microsurgery techniques. In fact, UT Southwestern is developing the only hand transplant center in North Texas, and Dr. Sammer will be a crucial part of the team.

His research interests include studying biomechanical techniques for repairing tendons and exploring a possible connection between migraine headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. He is evaluating distal radius fractures, as well as early detection and treatment of osteoporosis. Dr. Sammer says, one day, this may help lead to discoveries that could help prevent distal radius fractures.

Clinical Interests/Specialties

  • Glomus tumors
  • Trigger finger
  • Golfer’s and tennis elbow
  • Finger osteomyelitis
  • Flexor tendon repair techniques
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • De Quervain's tenosynovitis
  • Nerve compression injuries of the arms and legs
  • Vascular disorders
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ganglion cysts
  • Hand and upper extremity fractures
  • Distal radius fractures
  • Hand reconstruction
  • Reattachment of amputated fingers and hands
  • Congenital abnormalities