Nail Surgery

In certain circumstances despite conservative treatment some toenails require to be surgically removed. Podiatrists have developed highly successful techniques to treat all types of painfull conditions from nails which have become infected to septic nails which are painful and troublesome due to their abnormal shape.

We would like to assure you that by using local anaesthetic we make the procedure as painless as possible.

What to Expect

After your initial assessment and consultation the appropriate procedure will be chosen and a date and time for surgery will be agreed.  At this time an accurate estimate of cost will be discussed.

Planning when you have surgery is essential.  If you do a job that involves standing on your feet for many hours we would advise that you book a week of rest following the surgery.  

Please remember that although this is a simple procedure you will have undergone minor surgery and after the procedure you should rest as much as possible.

You will have to avoid taking part in sports activities up to 3 weeks following surgery.

On the day of your surgery it is important that you have a light meal and a drink at least an hour before the surgery.  We will be using a local anaesthetic and doing this will avoid low blood sugar or dehydration which can make you feel faint.

Your feet will be put into a sterile bath and prepared for surgery. A local anaesthetic will be administered by injection to the toe and usually takes up to 15 minutes to take effect.

The procedure involves removal of all or part of the nail and destroying any remaining cells by applying a chemical called Phenol to ensure the nail will not grow again.

A dressing is applied and in 3 - 5 days you will need to return for the dressing to be changed. You will be given a pack of dressings, regular dressing and care of your toe will be fully explained.


Some patients may experience slight discomfort after the anaesthetic has worn off. If this occurs routine doses of your usual painkiller are normally sufficient to reduce the discomfort.

It is advisable to bring loose fitting or open toed footwear with you on the day of the procedure.  You will have a bulky dressing in place for the next 2-3 days so it will not be possible to wear formal shoes.

You will need to keep the foot elevated initially and for at least 2 days after surgery.

Dressings and Follow-Up

You will be required to have the toe re-dressed within a few days of the operation being carried out.

The dressing will require changing on a regular basis, and your podiatrist will discuss with you the most suitable arrangements to ensure that your wound receives appropriate care until it is healed.

Complete recovery time for nail surgery is 4 - 8 weeks for a partial nail removal and up to 10 weeks for a full nail removal.  Please inform the practice if you are considering taking a holiday within the healing time.

Feet & Co
Call us on 0115 982 0100