The podiatry nail surgery service assesses and surgically treats nail conditions for people in the NHS Forth Valley area.
Through surgery, we aim to resolve chronic and acute toe problems not related to footwear.
Conditions we treat
- Ingrown toenail
- Thickened and damaged nails
- Very curved (involuted) nails
Services we offer
Our nail surgery service involves the removal of infected and damaged toenails through surgery under local anaesthetic. We use a chemical, called phenol, to stop the nail from regrowing.
Who is Nail surgery for?
You will have an assessment appointment with a podiatrist to assess your suitability.
We will consider:
- Your medical history and medication
- Any allergies
- The circulation to your feet
- If you have had problems with a local anaesthetic before
You will be asked to confirm your medical history and relevant details. In some cases we may need to seek advice from your GP before we can decide if nail surgery is right for you.
When the surgery cannot be done in a local clinic, we will refer you on to the hospital to have this procedure carried out.
Nail surgery is a straight forward procedure. After we assess you, and receive your written consent to go ahead.
You will have an injection of a local anaesthetic into your toe. This ensures the surgery will be carried out pain free. The appointment lasts around 45-60 minutes.
The two main procedures carried out are:
- Partial nail Avulsion: the side or sides of a nail only are removed.
- Total nail avulsion: the whole nail is removed.
A bulky dressing is applied after the procedure which stays in place for 2-3 days and you redress the toe at home.
All aftercare advice is provided at your nail surgery appointment with leaflets and photos to back up all information given.
If you are on an anticoagulant or any high risk medication you will be given an appointment to attend a local community clinic for redressing.
It normally takes six weeks for a partial nail removal to heal, and twelve weeks for a total nail removal.
Complications are rare after a local anaesthetic. An example of a complication is an allergic reaction. To minimise the risk the lowest effective dose of anaesthetic is always used.
On rare occasions a reaction to phenol can cause burning and blistering. If this happens it usually subsides in a few days.
Occasionally whilst healing, the toe may become infected and a course of antibiotics may be required from your GP. Whilst every effort will be made to provide a cosmetically acceptable outcome, the final appearance of the toe cannot be guaranteed and there is a very small chance the nail may re-grow.
How to access our services
Your GP or other healthcare professional can refer you to the nail surgery service.