What is Nail Surgery?
Nail surgery is performed to remove benign and malignant nail tumors, alleviate pain secondary to ingrown and traumatized nails, and diagnose clinically ambiguous lesions and dystrophies. Nail avulsions (removal) and biopsies are safely performed in the office setting.
The procedure is performed under local anesthetic to numb the area. Once numb, the nail is gently lifted and either partially or fully removed. A biopsy is taken to rule out malignancy and to determine the exact cause for the nail change. A pressure dressing is applied and the patient is provided with specific wound care instructions.
Nail regrowth typically occurs over a 12-18 month period depending on the location.
The aftercare and recovery process after having nail surgery includes:
- Once the anesthetic wears off, you may feel pain and throbbing. Keep the area elevated as much as possible for one week. Apply ice to help ease discomfort.
- Keep the surgical site clean by using soapy water and using a towel or cloth to pat it dry. If bandaged, keep it covered with bandages that are recommended by your provider and ensure they remain clean. Follow recommended wound care.
- You should be able to return to normal activities within a week or two. However, it can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks for your toenail to heal completely.
Contact your provider immediately if you notice or experience any of the following:
- Your symptoms worsen
- Green or yellow discharge or bleeding from toenail
- Moderate to severe pain or discomfort
- Swelling, redness of the surgical site