Nail surgery is an effective long term solution to painful, recurring ingrowing toenails or painful thickened nails.
The procedure is only carried out after an assessment of the vascular and neurological health of the clients lower limbs, combined with an assessment of drug interactions and overall health.
Local anaesthetic is used to numb the toe/toes, this is often the most uncomfortable part of the procedure but only lasts a short time and is essential if the client doesn’t want to feel pain. Two injections either side at the base of the toe are made, then a period is taken until the toe is numb.
A tourniquet is then applied and either whole or part of the nail is removed using very fine instruments to minimise tissue damage and post operative pain.
Phenol is applied to the nail bed in measured doses to prevent re-growth of the nail.
The toe is finally dressed and full instructions and a dressing pack for home use is given.
Healing of the lesion varies greatly between client and there are many factors that can affect it. Fair skinned people can react more strongly to the phenol and can take longer to heal. The amount of trauma sustained to the toe during healing can slow the process, therefore more active people and manual workers need to be mindful of this. It is better to leave several weeks before going on holiday if one intends to swim or be active. Although salt water is good for the healing process, getting sand in the wound is not and swimming pools are not recommended due to the risk of bacterial infection.
Post operative care is free until we are happy healing is complete. We will see the lesion a couple of days after surgery and then normally at weekly intervals until we are satisfied. It is the clients responsibility to dress and bathe the toe daily and to keep the wound clean and free from bacteria. Normally healing is deemed complete when the dressings start to come off clean.