Nail Surgery

We are specialists in nail surgery and have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in this painful condition. We can remove either the whole or part of an ingrown nail and treat the area so that the nail does not grow again. We do this under local anaesthetic so the operation is carried out without pain or discomfort.

An ingrown toenail develops when the sides of the toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The nail curls and pierces the skin, which becomes red, swollen and tender.

The big toe is often affected, either on one or both sides. Other possible symptoms include:

  • pain if pressure is placed on the toe 
  • inflammation of the skin at the end of the toe 
  • a build-up of fluid in the area surrounding the toe 
  • an overgrowth of skin around the affected toe 
  • bleeding 
  • white or yellow pus coming from the affected area

Surgery may be recommended if your toenail doesn't improve. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, this may involve either:

  • partial nail avulsion – removing part of your toenail  
  • total nail avulsion – removing your whole toenail 

Partial nail avulsion

Partial nail avulsion is a very effective and commonly used operation for treating ingrown toenails.

local anaesthetic is used to numb your toe and the edges of your toenail are cut away. A chemical called phenol is applied to the affected area to prevent the nail growing back and becoming ingrown in the future.

A course of antibiotics may be prescribed if your nail is infected, and any pus will be drained away.

Total nail avulsion

Total nail avulsion may be necessary if your nail is thick and pressing into the skin surrounding your toe.

After your toenail has been removed, you’ll have an indentation where your nail used to be. However, it's perfectly safe for you not to have a toenail.

After surgery

After toenail surgery, your toe will be wrapped in a sterile bandage. This helps to stem any bleeding and prevent infection. Rest your foot and keep it raised for one to two days after the operation.

To help reduce the pain, you may need to take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, and wear soft or open-toed shoes for the first few days after surgery.

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