Toenail Surgery

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What Is Toenail

Painful or uncomfortable nails can be caused due to an excessively curved or wide nail plate, predisposing it to grow into the skin at the side of the nail, or a thickened nail. A podiatrist should be the first port of call for correction and prevention of such a debilitating condition. Whilst conservative care can help to prevent pain and infection, this will not cure the problem. In order to correct the deformity, the podiatrist at Acorn Sports Podiatry may recommend an operation to eradicate the problem. This will be recommended once conservative (non-surgical) measures to prevent significant problems or frequent episodes of infection have failed.

Before undertaking surgery, you should be certain that conservative options have been considered and that you understand the implications and complications of the proposed surgery. If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your specialist before the operation date.

How Can We Correct The Deformity?

Nail surgery is a common and standard procedure carried out on a regular basis. Whilst the nail can be removed resolving the current problem, to prevent regrowth, a strong chemical (phenol) has to be applied to prevent the nail from re-growing. In the majority of situations, we only need to remove a small section of the nail on one or both sides (partial nail avulsion) leaving you with a slightly narrow nail but, without the troublesome section. In some instances, the podiatrist may recommend that the whole nail be removed (total nail avulsion) as the risks of complication may be higher which will be discussed at the time of the appointment. In this case, there will be no further nail growth.

In circumstances where an ingrown toenail has been present for a long period, excess tissue that bleeds easily and appears red can build up. This is known as Hypergranulation and is due to an overreaction to the irritation and/or infection. Hypergranulation tissue can be removed during the operation.

What Are The Advantages Of This Operation?

1. Eradication of pain
2. Prevention of infection
3. Broader selection of shoes can be worn afterwards
4. Ease when walking

What's The Prodedure?

Nail surgery operations are believed to be a complicated procedure. However, this is often not the case. It is a routine procedure that our expert podiatrists carry out and perform at any of our clinics. We perform two types of surgery: partial nail avulsion, where we remove one or both sides of the affected nail, or a total nail avulsion, where the entire nail is removed.

The operation will be performed under local anaesthetic so it is pain-free, and you are awake and can eat normally up until the time of your operation. The operation will last for approximately 20-30 minutes per toe, but you may be at the clinic for longer to allow sufficient preparation and post-operative monitoring.

Once the aggravating nail has been removed, a chemical that destroys the nail bed is applied to guarantee no regrowth of that nail. We will dress the toe with a large dressing and arrange follow-up appointments to check the area is healing properly. We advise you to bring sandals or open toed shoes to the appointment as you may find it difficult to wear shoes on the day of the operation.


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