Minor Nail Procedure

What is a Minor Nail Procedure? 

This is a small procedure carried out to treat nail problems which cause pain such as ingrowing toenails.  It involves taking part or all of the toenail away under a local anaesthetic. This is done as an outpatient appointment and is scheduled for 1 hour.

What happens?

A local anaesthetic will be administered into the base of both sides of the toe to numb the area. 
Once your toe is numb:

  • A small rubber ring (tourniquet) will be placed on the toe
  • The problem section of the nail will be removed, in some cases the whole nail may be removed
  • Phenol (a chemical) is applied to the nail bed to prevent the nail from re-growing. It is your choice if the chemical is applied or not, if not then the nail will re-grow but is likely to be problematic in the future
  • The rubber ring (tourniquet) is removed
  • The toe is dressed in a bandage

What happens after?

  • Verbal and written instructions will be given to you and a dressing pack will be provided
  • Your toe will be numb for up to 4 hours
  • You should rest with your foot up for 24 hours after the procedure to reduce any bleeding
  • 24 hours after the procedure you will need to remove your dressing and replace it with a new dressing form the pack provided
  • Once your new dressing is in place you can return to normal daily activities such as school or work – be careful with footwear and don’t knock your toe. 
  • You will need to re-dress your toe every day until it is healed. This will be roughly 6 weeks. 
  • If you need to return to the department for a review, please contact us – 02920 335 135

Useful tips

• You will need to bring sandals to accommodate the dressing
• You will be UNABLE to drive home from the procedure as your toe will be numb
• Most people feel very little or no pain after the procedure and during recovery
• When removing the bulky dressing the day after the procedure it is recommended to get the dressing wet as this will make it easier to remove.

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