Patients frequently come to us because their nails have become infected, painful, or ingrown. When this happens we assess their needs and the best course of treatment. Sometimes, this requires nail surgery. 

Nail surgery is an effective and straightforward procedure routinely performed by our podiatrists. It allows them to permanently and positively change the shape of nails that are problematic to increase patient comfort. 

Prior to being considered for nail surgery, you’ll receive a thorough assessment and, if we feel it’s the right treatment for you, a complete explanation of the procedure. You’ll have the chance to ask any questions you may have about your specific nail surgery, and give consent before we proceed. 

Do You Go Under Anaesthetic For Nail Surgery?

Nail surgery is performed under a local anaesthetic to ensure your safety and comfort. Following the procedure, rest is required for the remainder of the day. You may also need to return the following day to have your foot redressed. 

How Are Nails Removed During Surgery?

Your surgery will be conducted in three phases:

Step 1 – you’ll be given a local anaesthetic injection to numb your toe(s).

Step 2 – once your toe is comfortably numb, your podiatrist will remove part of your nail, or your whole nail, depending on your needs. A chemical will then be applied to destroy your exposed nail bed and ensure the nail doesn’t regrow back to the unwanted shape. 

Step 3 – your toe will be dressed to ensure it remains clean. You will be able to walk normally, however, we do not advise you to drive until the anaesthetic has completely worn off and your toe is no longer numb. 

From your arrival at the clinic to leaving, your nail surgery will take approximately one hour. 

Is The Procedure Painful?

Once the anaesthetic wears off you may experience some discomfort. Should this occur you can take the routine dose of whatever painkiller you usually favour, this is usually enough to reduce any discomfort. 

We do advise patients to bring open-toed or very loosely fitting shoes with them on the day of the procedure to minimise any discomfort experienced. 

Are There Any Risks Involved In Nail Surgery?

Nail surgery to remove ingrown toenails is a routine and highly common procedure that is, in general, very safe. That being said, there are some possible side effects you should be aware of before you consent to the surgery. 

What Are The Possible Side-Effects?

Side effects from this procedure are mostly temporary. For several days following the procedure, you will find your toe is stiff, sore, and swollen. You may also notice your nail bed is greyish, and it might weep slightly. 

What Complications Can Occur?

Most people are unaffected by complications from the procedure, as it is very straightforward. There are, however, possible complications from any surgery including excessive bleeding, infection, or a poor reaction to the anaesthetic.

It’s rare to experience specific complications as a result of the surgery. The ingrown toenail may re-occur if nail cells were left in situ.

As an individual, there may be other risks specific to you and your medical history. Your podiatrist will be able to explain these to you.

If you’d like to book a consultation to discover if nail surgery is the right course of treatment for you, please use our online booking system and we’ll see you very soon…