Nail Surgery

When is Minor Nail Surgery required?

Removal of ingrown toenails is the most common minor surgical procedure at Highett Podiatry, called a Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA).

Surgery is required when an ingrown toenail gets infected and is continually painful and cannot wear shoes, or the problem inhibits work, sporting or other activities.

Partial Nail Avulsion Procedure

Your podiatrist will conduct a complete assessment, taking medical history, a list of any medications and medical conditions as well as an examination of blood supply to the foot prior to undertaking a PNA.

Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) is a procedure that removes a piece of nail from the edge of an ingrown toenail to relieve it. Applying a chemical agent to the root of the nail area to prevent re-growth of the nail sliver stops the nail growth. The procedure takes approx 20 minutes to complete.

The procedure itself is performed under local anaesthetic via injection into the toe to numb the area. The anaesthetic will wear off in about two hours. Once numb, a tight elastic ring called a tourniquet is applied to the toe to control bleeding and the area is prepped to minimise the risk of infection.

The offending portion of the nail is then lifted and trimmed away, generally without the toe being cut or stitched. Both sides or the entire nail may be removed this way. A chemical is then used to prevent nail regrowth, of the ingrown portion.

Once the procedure is completed, the tourniquet is removed and a sterile surgical dressing is applied. The patient is able to walk immediately afterwards, however assistance getting home from our clinic is strongly recommended.

What happens after the procedure?

Re-dressings at home and a few consultations with your podiatrist may be required over the two to three weeks following the procedure.

For the first few days after the procedure, pain relief, the use of open toed shoes and activity modification may be necessary, however interference with day to day activities is generally minimal.

Are there any potential complications?

As with any surgical procedure, there is some risk of complication, however this procedure is known to be very safe and effective.

The most common side effects are post operative infection in the short term and the small risk of regrowth of the nail. The risk of infection can be minimised through good post-operative care and your podiatrist will advise and assist with your situation.

Always Consult A Trained Professional

The information in this resource is general in nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It is not a substitute for medical advice and you should always consult a trained professional practising in the area of medicine in relation to any injury or condition. You use or rely on information in this resource at your own risk and no party involved in the production of this resource accepts any responsibility for the information contained within it or your use of that information.