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Nail Surgery

When is Nail Surgery necessary?

Nail surgery is needed in cases of reccurring, chronic, and painful ingrown toenails that have not responded adequately to routine care, or in cases where the nail has been badly damaged and excessively thickened.  

It is a very quick procedure, which is carried out with care by our team of experienced podiatrists.  The procedure only takes a few minutes, does not typically require you to take time off work, or require you to attend for redressings. 

The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, and can be carried out to permanently, or temporarily, remove the offending section of nail, or the entire nail as needed.  When a permanent removal is necessary (e.g. for highy curved / wide / thickened nails) we use a chemical called phenol to prevent the offending section of nail (or entire nail) to regrow.

Surgery Options:

Partial Nail Avulsion: This is where a small section of the nail is removed to allow the skin, that has been irritated by it, to heal and results in a narrowed nail.  Where the nail matrix has been phenolised for a permanent narrowing of the nail, as healing progresses the skin relaxes back towards the nail leaving no unsightly gap or scar tissue as with other procedures.

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Total Nail Avulsion: A TNA is carried out when the nail is deformed by trauma, highly curved (involuted), or infected and where the entire nail is removed.  We would nearly always recommend that the nail matrix be phenolised with this procedure as the nail will not return to normal once it has been previously traumatised.

How long does it take to heal?

Healing depends both on the procedure carried out, and your body's natural capacity for healing.  Typically a partial nail avulsion will take 6 weeks to heal, and a total nail avulsion will take 10 weeks.  

What aftercare is needed?

We recommend a very simple aftercare regime at home that involves bathing the foot in salt-water,  using a simple dry sterile dressing, keeping it dry. 

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