An Explanation of Nail Surgery

Nail surgery involves the partial or total removal of the toenail under local anaesthetic. You may need to undergo surgery when you develop one of the following conditions:

  • Ingrowing toenail
  • Thickened toenail
  • Severe curvature of the nail
  • Trauma to the nail

What happens?

Nail surgery is performed under local anaesthetic. This means that only the affected toe is injected with anaesthetic and numbed. You will be awake throughout the surgery. You will still be able to feel your toe being moved but you will not feel any pain. The operation takes about 10 minutes however expect to be with us for 45 minutes.

There are two types of nail surgery:

  • Partial nail avulsion - removal of one or both sides of the nail affected
  • Total nail avulsion - complete removal of the affected nail

Will the nail grow back?

Once the whole of the nail or part of the nail is removed a chemical (phenol) is applied to the nail bed and should ensure that the nail does not re-grow.

Before Nail Surgery

Do remember to eat as normal. Please arrange transport home, as you are not advised to drive for 24 hours following nail surgery. A parent or guardian must accompany patients under sixteen years of age.

On the day of surgery please bring the following:

  • A pair of open toed sandals or a slipper with the toe area cut out.
  • A list of all the medicines you take

After Nail Surgery

On returning home, rest with your foot up until the following day. Potter around the house only. Do not remove the dressing; keep it clean and dry until your next visit. If there is oozing through the dressing, add additional dressing on top. If it continues, contact Supplefeet.

Take Paracetamol based painkillers to ease any pain or throbbing.

Avoid walking long distances, kicking, swimming, running or jumping in the early stages of healing. It normally takes around 4 - 6 weeks for the toe to heal, but if you have any concerns after surgery these can be discussed at your dressing appointments.

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