Nail Surgery Post-Op Information

Two to three days after nail surgery you will be brought back into the clinic for a review and dressing change. This is included in the price of the surgery. If there is blood coming through the dressing before your check up, apply another dressing or plaster above this and do not remove the bandage. If you start to get pain in the toe as the local anaesthetic wears off you can take painkillers that you would usually take for a headache or muscle pain.

Following Your Recent Review appointment, please note the following points:

  • Change your dressing every second to third day for the next 2 weeks or until the area has a small dry scab that is unlikely to catch in your sock.
  • In-between dressing changes soak your toe in cool boiled (Sterile) salt water for 1-2 min (1-2 tablespoons of salt into the water and make sure the water covers the hole toe)
  • Leave the toe to air dry before reapplying dressings.
  • It is good to leave your toe out to the air as much as possible, once there is no active bleeding or chance that the toe can get hurt. Apply dressings before wearing socks or any footwear or going to bed. Once the dressing is in place keep dry and covered when in the shower.
  • If the dressing gets wet, remove it straight away even if you are only after applying the dressing. Leaving a damp or wet dressing on the toe will cause the skin to break down and increase the risk of infection.
  • If you are having a shower on the day of a dressing change, the area has scabbed over and there is no fluid around the nail, you can have the shower with the dressing off. Try and avoid shampoo or body wash from being around the nail. After the shower, soak your toe in sterile salt water, leave the toe out in the air for awhile and apply dressings when dry.
  • Apply the melolin dressing supplied, shiny side down towards the toe and apply the tape to keep it in place. After 1 week, normal plasters can be used if there is no infection present.
  • Healing time can vary between 4 to 12 weeks depending on the individual and the procedure carried out (partial/total nail removal)
  • Continue to dress the toe until it is healed, do not pick off the scab that forms, wait for it to fall off.

What to expect for the next few weeks:

It is normal to experience pain and redness around the nail surgery site and some discharge from the wound itself over the first week after surgery. There might also be bruising around the injection site of the anaesthetic. Once the toe starts to heal, a scab will form over the site (Do not pick this off). Sometimes you can get an infection post surgery. If an infection occurs you might need to go to your GP for an antibiotic.

If you suspect an infection get in contact with your podiatrist.

Signs of Infection:

  • Prolonged pain in the toe
  • Odour (bad smell)
  • Exudate (heavy, smelly yellow discharge from the surgery site)
  • Inflammation – Red, hot or swollen.

Avoid any sporting activities that may cause pressure, trauma, or contaminate the wound site until a scab has formed. (e.g. football, running, swimming, etc.)

If you are getting nail surgery with phenolisation (Acid to burn of the nail root) be advised that sometimes it may not work. The phenol can be neutralised by an infection or too much bleeding to the site. You will be asked to return for a review in 4-8 weeks depending on the surgery to assess for any nail regrowth and to check how the area is healing.

To avoid any further problems with your nails, please be advised of the following:

  1. Always cut the nail straight across and not too short and smooth away any sharp edges.
  2. Do not pick at your toe nails or tear them off when you have one side cut with the nail clipper.
  3. Wear appropriate shoes and hosiery that offer enough width to prevent compression of your toes.

If you are concerned about anything or need further information, please contact us at the clinic and we will be happy to help.

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