What conditions are nail surgery used for?
Ingrown Toenail | Involuted Toenail | Infected Toenail | Deformed Toenail | Painful Toenail
What is nail surgery? How is it done?
This is a procedure where part or all of your toe-nail is removed. Then an area of the nail matrix (which grows your nail) is cauterised to prevent this portion of your nail from returning.
Will the procedure be painful?
This is always done under a local anaesthetic into the surrounding skin. During the procedure no pain is experienced due to the toe being numb. This numbness often lasts for several hours. Following your procedure, you may feel a mild stinging sensation, although we often get reports from our clients that they felt nothing at all.
Will I be suitable for nail surgery?
We must undertake a full assessment from our degree qualified and HCPC registered podiatrist to gather a full medical history and to discuss which procedure is best for you. In some instances, we may not be able to use local anaesthetic if you have had a reaction to them in the past, or may need to write a letter to your GP.
What is the recovery time?
Following the procedure, you should be pain free immediately, as it is often the painful hard nail pressing into the skin which is the source of pain. As a section of nail has been removed and skin cauterised, this will create a small wound that takes some time to heal. Depending on your health status and lifestyle, we advise that healing can take anywhere between two weeks and two months. The initial dressing we put on your toe can be fairly bulky, but this should get smaller each time it is redressed by the podiatrist. All redressing appointments are at no charge and offered to you by the clinician to monitor healing progress, although if you prefer to redress at home this is also possible.
If you have any questions about whether nail surgery is right for you, please get in touch.
Before your nail surgery, your podiatrist will discuss the procedure with you and take a full medical history.
On the day of the procedure, we will check your blood pressure, your blood flow to your feet, and test your sensations. This is all to ensure your safety and to maintain the best standards.
After cleansing the toe, we will confirm the part of the nail which we plan to remove. This can either be a small part of the nail or in severe cases, we may agree to remove it entirely.
Anaesthetic is administered to the fleshy part of the skin around your toe. This is usually a lot less uncomfortable than people anticipate. After 10-30 minutes the entire toe will be completely numb.
Following another thorough cleaning of the site, a small rubber tourniquet is placed around the toe to allow us to do the surgery without bleeding.
The area of the nail is slightly scored to mark how much of the nail will be removed. Then this section of the nail is gently lifted away from the nail bed and removed.
In most cases, we will apply an acid called Phenol. This is applied to the nail matrix to stop this troublesome area from regrowing. This is a permanent procedure so the ingrown-toenail doesn’t return.
After the matrix is destroyed, we irrigate the wound to wash out the acid and cleanse the area.
The tourniquet is removed, and the blood flow returns to the toe. Depending on whether your toe bleeds, we will choose from a variety of dressings to suit the wound.
Your toe will be bandaged up securely in a little ‘toe sock’ style dressing. It is very important to keep this clean until we see you next. Loose fitting shoes and trainers are usually more than adequate. Crutches or a wheelchair are not required.
Following your nail surgery, you may feel throbbing when the anaesthetic wears off, but it is fairly common for there to be no pain afterwards.
Your podiatrist will give you a date to return for your redressing appointment and be there to support you on your road to pain free toenails.