Please read this carefully as it contains important information about the nail surgery procedure. 

Intended benefits:  

  • to cure painful or problematic toenails 
  • to improve a toenail condition 

Risks you need to know about: 

As with all minor surgical procedures there are risks. With nail surgery these can be:  

  • delayed healing 
  • local infection 
  • phenol burn 
  • occasional prolonged numbness 
  • pain and bleeding 
  • occasionally re-growth of the nail does occur as 100% success cannot be guaranteed 

A parent or guardian must accompany: 

  • those under the age of 16 years of age  
  • those who are unable to give consent for themselves for a medical procedure 

The procedure: 

  • the procedure takes about one hour and the podiatrist will recheck your medical history and consent form 
  • a local anaesthetic will be given to both sides of the toe 
  • the toe will go numb and pain free for surgery 
  • a tight rubber band will be put round the toe to give a blood-free area for surgery 
  • the toenail or piece of nail causing the problem will be removed 
  • the nail bed will be treated with a chemical called phenol - this chemical is applied to stop the nail re-growing 
  • the rubber band will be removed from the toe and a large, bulky dressing will be applied. 
  •  you will need to wear a large shoe or open-toed sandals 
  • your toe will stay numb for 2 – 4 hours 

Things you need to do before your nail surgery:

  •  continue to take any medication that you would normally take unless you have been advised not to  
  • please bring any inhalers, GTN sprays or medication that you usually carry with you  
  • this procedure cannot be done during pregnancy or while breastfeeding - please inform the podiatrist if you think you may be pregnant, before your surgery date 
  • you must not have a local anaesthetic 24 hours before or after nail surgery 
  • please make sure that you keep the affected toes clean and covered with a sterile dressing - this will reduce the risk of your nails becoming infected 
  • if your toe becomes infected before your surgery you may need antibiotics - please see your GP for advice 
  • you will usually require some time off work or school - your podiatrist will discuss this with you 

On the day of your surgery: 

  • please eat normally on the day of your surgery - it will not affect the local anaesthetic 
  • make sure your feet are washed well and all nail varnish is removed 
  • please arrive in good time for your appointment 
  • please arrange transport home -  you cannot drive for the rest of the day after your procedure  
  • the dressing applied after surgery is large and bulky - please bring open toed footwear to put on after surgery 
  • it is not advisable to drink alcohol on the day of your surgery 
  • you will need to keep the dressing dry after your surgery 

The Department of Health requires that all Podiatrists (Chiropodists) who work for the National Health Service are registered with the Health Professionals Council (HCPC). Podiatrists working for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have all passed a three year training course leading to a Diploma or Degree. This information is intended to provide advice to patients. If you have any difficulty with this information or advice please seek medical advice. 

To access more information about this resource and the service related to it, you can review the related resources below.

Basic footcare
This information contains advice about how to look after your feet.
Footwear advice
The following information contains advice about footwear.
Domiciliary visits for Podiatry
The Podiatry service offers a home visiting service (Domiciliary) following a GP referral to see patients at home only when there are specific reasons why they cannot access a clinic.

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