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Nail Surgery

The common causes for toenail surgery/removal are:

  • a dead toe nail,

  • continuous/painful ingrowing toenails,

  • injury,

  • bad fungal infection. 

What is Nail Surgery?

Nail surgery is a procedure carried out to remove part, or all of a nail. Problem nails that we commonly treat are, infected ingrowing toenails and curved or distorted/thick nails that are causing pain. Phenol is used to stop regrowth of the nail. 

What are the benefits of having nail surgery?

Permanent removal of part or all of the nail often cures the problem, although there is a small risk of re-growth. This procedure is known as ‘Phenol Matricectomy’ and has a success rate of 95% or higher, in preventing re-growth of the nail. 

What does it feel like to have nail surgery?

Once the toe has been anaesthetised (numbed), you will be able to move the toe but will not feel any pain.

There is some discomfort when injecting the anaesthetic but this only lasts a couple of minutes. The local anaesthetic usually wears off in 2-4 hours. 

Will nail surgery affect work?

If you have an active job, you may need to take a few days off work to rest the affected toes.

We recommend that you wear open toe shoes until the first redressing appointment. Please be aware that these may not comply with work Health & Safety requirements.

What will happen when I have nail surgery?

  • You will be awake during the procedure, it is recommended to bring someone with you and eat light meals on the day 

  • A local anaesthetic is injected in the toe to stop you feeling pain. A tourniquet is then put onto the toe to reduce bleeding.

  • The piece of nail causing the problem is then removed, and phenol applied to stop the nail from growing back.

  • The tourniquet is taken off and a dressing is put on to cover the toe. If you have sickle cell anaemia, use of tourniquet is not recommended – please discuss with your podiatrist.

  • You will be given advice about how to look after your toe and a follow-up appointment, will be booked before you leave. 

Are you a patient who has had nail surgery and looking for your home advice/post op information - click here 

All patients requiring nail surgery will need to book an

initial podiatry assessment.

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