Brightwell House , 40 Queens Road , Reading , RG1 4AU

Nail Surgery

What is nail surgery?

Nail Surgery is indicated for several painful nail conditions, commonly in-growing and/or where the nail has a very curved shape, this we call involuted nails.

An in-growing toe-nail is one where the nail has either broken away or been cut incorrectly leaving a rough shoulder or nail spike. This may then penetrate the soft tissue of the toe, in the nail groove, as it grows leading to an acutely painful, and often infected, toe.

Involuted toe-nails are excessively curly from side to side leading to an excessive amount of pressure building-up in the nail groove along the nail edges. This can cause hard skin or corns to develop under the nail resulting in chronic discomfort.

Most nail conditions can be dealt with conservatively, i.e. without surgery, and, where appropriate, this would always be the first choice of treatment. However, in situations where the problem persists or fails to respond, nail surgery might be indicated.

In all cases the Brightwell podiatrists will advise and will be happy to discuss options available.

What does nail surgery involve?

Nail Surgery is carried out at Brightwell Clinic at any time convenient to both the practitioner and patient, usually within a few days. The patient will already have been assessed to ensure that surgery is appropriate, and a pre-operative assessment of general health will have been carried out. The patient's GP is always contacted for information regarding contraindications and follow up antibiotic cover if required and appropriate.

Nail surgery is a sterile procedure carried out under Local Anaesthetic. A tourniquet is applied, and the required amount of nail gently lifted off (no stitching is required and there is generally no bleeding). A chemical is used to remove the nail bed and a large dressing then applied. Patients remain in the clinic for a cup of tea before being taken home by a friend or relative. Analgesics are sometimes required within the first few hours post-operatively.

Once the toe has healed the nail grows with a straight edge that no longer irritates the skin leaving a pain free aesthetically pleasing toenail.

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