Nail surgery is the process of permanently removing a problem nail using a chemical called phenol, whether it be ingrown and infected or dystrophic and thickened. We can partially remove a small section of the nail or totally remove it in more severe cases. Nail surgery isn’t always the most appropriate option; we can however offer pain-free solutions without permanently removing the nail bed.
Do I need nail surgery?
On the day of your initial appointment, the podiatrist will assess your ingrown nail for the level of infection present and the severity of the ingrown nail. A full medical history will be completed and then a recommendation of either nail surgery or minor removal without phenol. If a minor removal is required this will be completed on the day and with an anaesthetic. If nail surgery is required an appointment will be set for soon after. Legally we are required to give 24 hours between assessment and nail surgery.
What is the process after nail surgery?
Following Nail surgery, you will wear a dry dressing and be reviewed within 5 days. At your review appointment, the toe is cleansed with sterile saline and a thin antiseptic dressing is then applied. This dressing must be kept in place and dry for 3 days. You will be shown how to simply dress your own toe beyond this point. It can take up to 6 weeks for complete healing. However, the majority of patients are pain-free within a couple of weeks.
Are there any side effects?
With any surgical procedure, there are risks. Mainly infection. We do all we can to minimise these risks.
I am pregnant or breastfeeding can you still do it?
Although the risk is minimal and a growing body of research to say there is none. Our clinical policy is that even with the slightest chance we would not take the risk. We advise managing the problem conservatively until a later stage.
Will it ever come back?
Once the ingrown section of nail is removed and phenolised there is a 98% success rate. Regrowth is extremely rare.
Can I use my health insurance plan?
In most cases yes, please pre-authorise an "initial assessment" with your insurance provider and bring any details to the appointment. We will then carry out our minor surgery pre-assessment and offer you an appointment if suitable. We will then provide you with a procedure code to provide to your insurance provider. Please note if there is an excess you will have to cover this, please clarify this with your provider.
How do I book?
All nail surgery patients must first be assessed. Please book in using our online facility, select “Minor surgery pre-assessment” enter your details and check for your confirmation email.