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Information About Nail Surgery

What can nail surgery be used to treat?


Ingrown toenails, recurrent infections and pain are the most common reasons for patients to undergo nail surgery.


Nail surgery is an effective, minor surgical procedure performed by our Podiatrists at the Hall Bank Clinic in Buxton. It provides long-term relief from painful and ingrowing toenails, preventing infection and recurrence of the problem.


We will always complete a thorough assessment of anyone that is struggling with their nails and suggest the best options for you. In some instances, nail surgery will not be the best option, and we will advise on alternatives. For those requiring surgery, we will explain the procedure in detail and ensure that you have the chance to ask any questions you may have.


Will the nail surgery be completed on the first appointment?


No. We always require a minimum of 24 hours between the first appointment/assessment and the nail surgery. This ensures that you are fully informed and can think about the surgery before we go ahead with the procedure.


Don’t forget; you cannot drive for 24 hours after the surgery – your car insurance will be invalid. Ideally, get a lift to and from the clinic and bring a pair of sliders/open-toe sandals for after the operation.


What happens during nail surgery?


When you come in for nail surgery, the first thing we do is confirm that you are still happy to go ahead with the procedure. We will ensure we have your full consent and that you have time to ask any further questions.


We cleanse the injection site, and local anaesthetic is administered – this is the part of the procedure that people tend to dislike! It is uncomfortable, but over in less than a minute. Before and during the procedure, we will guide you in breathing exercises to help you feel more at ease. After the injection, you will know that the worst part of the procedure is over and done with.


It takes 5-10 minutes for the toe to go numb; while waiting, we will ensure once more that all parties involved are happy before we go ahead with the procedure.


We will then cleanse the surgery site and pop a tourniquet (tight elastic band) onto the toe to stop bleeding during the procedure. The nail plate is then partially or totally removed, and most often, we use a chemical called phenol at the nail matrix (the area the nail grows from). This ensures that the troublesome parts of the nail do not regrow.


That’s the nail surgery done! The tourniquet is then removed, the return of blood supply is noted, and a large dressing is applied. The whole procedure takes around 1 hour from start to finish.


You will be cleansing and redressing the site yourself for up to 5-6 weeks.

For the rest of the day and the following day, we advise that you rest with both feet elevated. Most people can return to work after 48 hours. We do recommend that you aim to reduce pressure on the surgical site by making sure you have enough space in your shoes – or by wearing sandals.


Many people who have the procedure report a reduction in pain almost instantly. Sensation and feeling return to the toe within 2 hours, and the pain is compared to a dull ache which can be eased with paracetamol if required.

Can you have nail surgery before a holiday?


If you’re experiencing discomfort just before a holiday, it is best to book in to see a podiatrist who can conservatively manage your nails and reduce pain to allow you to enjoy your holiday. Then we can book you in for the surgery on your return. A fresh nail surgery site will not benefit from sun, sea and sand!


If you feel you could benefit from nail surgery, contact us today. We will be happy to discuss your treatment options for the problem you're facing.


*This blog contains general information about medical conditions and is not advice. You must not rely upon the information in this blog as medical advice. Medical advice should always be sought from an appropriately qualified podiatrist such as ourselves.

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