Bruntsfield Chiropody & Podiatry

Sometimes it may be necessary for the toenail to be totally or partially removed.

In most cases a partial nail removal (PNA) is usually the preferred option, as the end result is only a narrowing of the nail.

How will the toenail be removed?

There are three stages to the operation:

1. You will be given an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the toe.

2. Once the toe is numb, the podiatrist will then remove either all, one side or both sides of the nail, and use a chemical (Phenol) to destroy the exposed nail bed. This normally ensures that the nail will not regrow.

3. A sterile dressing will then be applied to the toe and you will be able to walk normally, although you are advised not to drive whilst the toe is numb.

Will it be painful afterwards?

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 tied footwear with you on the day of the procedure.

Dressings and follow-up.

You will normally return within 2-3 days to have the toe redressed.
The dressing will require to be changed 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.
Normally three dressings after surgery should be adequate.