Nail Surgery

All nail surgery patients are initially seen for a 30 minute assessment appointment.

During the consultation we will take your medical history, in addition to the physical assessment. In most cases treatment will not be provided at your first appointment, and you will be invited back at a later date. If your toe is infected it may necessary for us to give you or arrange a course of antibiotics prior to any surgery. Our podiatrists may write to your GP, after your first appointment, to inform them that you are registered with our practice and give brief details of any treatment plan.

The underlying problem

Sometimes toenails can curve in (known as involution) or ingrow (known as onychocryptosis) causing pain and discomfort. Involuted nails dig into the sulci (the grooves to the side of the nail), whilst ingrowing toenails normally puncture the skin at the side or apex of the toe. Ingrowing toenails can be excruciatingly painful, and are usually swollen, red, inflamed, exude pus and may impair your mobility.
What are the causes?
Involuted toenails can be inherited or may be caused by toes that stick up and rubbed by shoes, or by the long term use of slip-on footwear. Ingrowing toenails are usually caused by poor toenail cutting or digging down the side of the toenails, they can also occur due to trauma and wearing tight footwear. There are two forms of ingrowing toenail - spicule (spike) and shoulder.

How do you fix this problem?

Nail Surgery is a minor surgical procedure. We anaesthetise the toe(s) using a local anaesthetic into the base of the toe. Once it has gone numb we apply antiseptics and a tourniquet. We then remove the ingrown (involuted) section of the nail or if needed the whole nail and any scar tissue or hypergranulation tissue. A chemical called phenol is applied to cauterise the nail bed (matrix). The area is cleansed to remove excess chemicals and tissue debris, and the toe is dressed ready for you to go home.