Toenail Removal: Procedure, Benefits, Side Effects, Recovery

What is toenail removal Surgery?

Most of the time, Toenail removal Surgery is done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia. Local anesthesia means that the person stays awake, but the doctor numbs the area so that the person can’t feel their toe.

During surgery, some doctors give sedatives or twilight anesthesia. With twilight anesthesia, the person is awake but sleepy, and they may not remember the procedure.

If a person wants general anesthesia, the toenail removal surgery may take longer and need more preparation. With general anesthesia, the person is put to sleep, so it’s a good choice for people who are very afraid of surgery.

What are ingrown toenails?

When the top corner or side of your toenail grows into the skin next to it, this is called an ingrown toenail. Most of the time, it happens on your big toe.

Some common reasons why toenails grow into the skin are:

  • putting your toes in shoes that are too tight
  • cutting your toenails too short or too curved.
  • injury to a toe or toenail
  • toenail grows in a curve by itself

Many ingrown toenails can be taken care of at home with success. But a toenail removal surgery may help if you have problems, like a skin infection or a lot of ingrown toenails. People who have diabetes or other health problems that affect the foot may need surgery more often.

The Benefits of Toenail Surgery

  • toenail removal surgery will solve your problem for good.
  • The pain goes away and the source of the infection is taken away.
  • A procedure with no pain and little pain afterward
  • Normal life can get back to normal.
  • No need to miss work or school.
  • Getting to wear normal shoes again
  • Local anesthetic, no need to fast.
  • Partially removing nails is fine from a beauty point of view

Toenail removal Procedure

On the day of the procedure, you can do everything you usually do, like eat, drink, and take your medicines (unless you are told not to). Still, it’s important to take it easy for the rest of the day after the procedure. Put your feet up and relax.

At the base of the toe, a local anesthetic is used to make the toe numb. This is the only part of the procedure that hurts, but it isn’t any worse than getting an injection.

When the toe is completely numb (which we always make sure of), an antiseptic solution will be put on it to reduce the risk of infection. The nail or part of the nail that hurts will then be cut off.

A chemical solution called phenol is put on the nail to stop it from growing back.

After the operation is done, a protective dressing will be put on the wound. Within an hour, the whole process is over and done (for one toe).

The podiatrist will set up a follow-up appointment with you so that he or she can check on the toe and re-dress it.

Then you can go home and put your feet up for the rest of the day.

Recovery after a toenail removal surgery

The wound will heal in a few weeks for most people. In the days after toenail removal surgery, the pain will get less and less, and it should be gone by the time the wound heals. It can take a few months for the nail to grow back, but how long it takes depends on the person.

A person can get better faster after surgery to remove an ingrown toenail by:

  • soaking the foot every day in hot water or Epsom salts
  • taking an NSAID to help with pain and swelling.
  • If there is an infection, put on an antibiotic ointment twice a day or as often as your doctor tells you to.
  • putting a bandage on the wound until it heals, which usually takes a few weeks.
  • keeping the wound clean and dry, except when taking a shower or cleaning the area
  • avoiding activities that are hard on the nail until a doctor says it’s okay to exercise again.
  • wearing shoes that fit well and aren’t too tight to keep from picking at the wound

Toenail removal Surgery Side Effects

After Toenail removal Surgery, people often have small Side Effects, but serious complications are rare. But leaving an ingrown toenail untreated puts you at a much higher risk of Side Effects than getting the nail removed.

People should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of surgery. The doctor will take into account their own risk factors. People who have had problems with anesthesia in the past or who have weak immune systems may be more likely to have problems.

Possible Side Effects with removing an ingrown toenail include:

  • Misshaped nails:

Toenails may grow back in a strange way. In some cases, they might not grow back or might not grow as long as they did before.

  • Toenail ingrowns:

When a person gets rid of one ingrown toenail, it doesn’t mean that they won’t get more ingrown toenails in the future. In some cases, a person may need to have more than one toenail removal surgery.

  • Infection:

A person who has had surgery may get an infection. During surgery, a wound is left open, which makes it easier for bacteria and other harmful substances to get into the body. After surgery, it’s important to see a doctor if you notice any signs of infection. If the infection isn’t treated, it could hurt the toe or even cause it to have to be cut off.

  • Problems with anesthesia:

A person might have trouble waking up from general anesthesia, or they might have a bad reaction to local anesthesia, like an allergic reaction.

  • Reactions to allergies:

Some of the tools used in surgery could cause an allergic reaction in a person. People who are allergic to latex should tell the medical team about this.

Ingrown toenail post-op

Rest your foot for the first two days following toenail removal surgery. Sit with it raised.

Doctors provide wound care and follow-up recommendations. Take note. This stops infections. If needed, use OTC pain medicines.

Infected toenails may require oral medications. Take these as prescribed.

Two weeks following surgery, wear open-toed shoes. Your toe can heal. After 24 hours, wash and rinse your toe with warm soapy water. Use a nonstick dressing till it heals.

After a few days, you can resume normal activities, but avoid running for two weeks.