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Toenail removal, any experience out there?

(13 Posts)
Pennypig Tue 25-Feb-14 20:05:11

I have had in growing toenails for years and years, saw a chiropodist about 5 years ago who showed me how to cut the side of the nail almost off basically. I managed with this since but I've decided I can't do it anymore, it's painful and each time I cut it, I end up having to spray antiseptic on it as I inevitably make a mess and either cut the skin or poke the scissors into the nail bed, ouch.
So my questions are, has anyone ever had their toenails removed and how much did it hurt, was it successful? And do I see a gp about this, or a chiropodist?
Thanks so much x

RockinD Tue 25-Feb-14 20:22:20

I had part of one of my big toe nails removed by a private podiatrist in January under local anaesthetic.

I have experienced no pain since the procedure (I was in constant pain before) and am very happy with the way the nail looks now it's healed.

I'm in the Midlands and it cost me £180.00.

Pennypig Tue 25-Feb-14 20:25:48

Thanks rockinD. Good to hear a positive story, I've foolishly just googled it and the,pictures of the procedure have really made me feel quite sick. I need to toughen up!!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 25-Feb-14 23:23:58

Hi Penny I've never had a nail removed but I'm an NHS Podiatrist so I've done this procedure in the past.

As I'm NHS ., I have no clue about prices but I'll give you a run-down of what happens.

(Might be different in different places though)

History - any allergies, medical conditions. Have you had a local analgesic before (similar to the dental injections but without adrenaline)

The injection (which is the bit people worry about most) goes into the base of the toe at either side.
I had to have a 'practice' every Friday for 6 weeks at college, then a written and practical exam in 2nd Year. They aren't the worst injections IMO.
Our lecturer used to make us lie flat ("You can't faint lying down" so ask to lie flat , breathe normally)

They should inject quite slowly, you'll feel 'tingling' which is the analgesic starting to work. Once it's numb, all you'll feel is pushing and cold, not pain.

Tourniquet (little rubber ring) goes on to keep the blood out.
Drapes and antiseptic to pre-op.

Nail is loosened with a thin chisel type instrument then cut and removed (sides or whole nail, whichever it needs)

Phenol, (strong cautic) applied, timed and neutralised. Stops the nail matrix regrowing the nail.

Tourniqet comes off, it'll bleed- a bit/a lot. Depends.

Dressing (bulky) . Wear open shoes, you'll have a numb toe.
I'd have a painkiller (non aspirin) before it wears off. (About 2 hours numb time)
Keep your foot up that night.

They'll see you back in a couple of days and advice you on dressings. (Our patients self dress and salt water bathe the toe)

Post -op pain varies but most people say it's ok (phenol is a good painkiller)

Takes about 6-8 weeks average to completely heal, some people take less.
Success rate 90% +.

Worse patients - young men wink
Good Luck

Pennypig Wed 26-Feb-14 07:54:03

Thanks so much 70, that's really helpful

trinity0097 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:49:11

I had my big toe nail removed via a general by an orthopedic surgeon. Has taken about 2 months to be fully healed. 2.5 weeks of no driving and had to have it elevated for 3 days afterwards full time and most of the time for about 2 weeks to help healing. It won't grow back.

Go and see your GP and see if you can be referred, no point in paying if it's something the NHS do!

hiddenhome Wed 26-Feb-14 23:55:06

I've had both mine done. They were painful for the first few days then just a bit sore. You need to do daily dressings and I used inadine to prevent infection as they did become swollen and inflamed at one point.

The anaesthetic injection stung a bit but one it takes effect you don't feel a thing.

I'm now totally painfree and happy after years of pain and limping smile

BocaDeTrucha Thu 27-Feb-14 00:28:25

I had my big toenail removed when I broke my toe and needed stitches. I'm going to be honest but the injection was excruciating.... Think of a cartoon Tom and Jerry when they bash a toe and it goes red and swells up.... That's how I felt. Thing is there's no where for the pain to go so it's concentrated in your toe.

Afterwards you feel like there is some kind of conspiracy that everyone is going to stand on your toe.... But it does get better.

chloecorey Thu 27-Feb-14 05:30:22

I had half of my big toe nail removed in an operation when I was about 14 (20now) I thought it was really weird because it was literally half of my nail right down the middle lol. I remember it hurt abit for a week or so but a lot less than an in growing toenail! I don't know if everybody else does but I still get them now aswellhmm had to get one out myself two nights ago as I couldn't walk. Don't think this will help though it's just my experience smile

chloecorey Thu 27-Feb-14 05:31:39

Oh and my toenail looks completely normal by the way now, I think it took about a month an half/ two month to heal but wasn't painful after that week or two x

LittleMissDisorganized Thu 27-Feb-14 06:04:07

I had both of my big toenails removed under GA whilst having another orthopaedic operation done. This isn't the norm so might be no use to you but I'd had poorly judged treatment from a podiatrist (obviously not one like 70!) and recurrent infections with antibiotics-thrush-antibiotics- repeat ad nauseam for months afterwards and the orthopaedic surgeon decided to take over responsibility for it - I have nerve damage in both feet. So maybe this is too different to help at all!
Recovery... this was 6 months ago next week and they still aren't fully grown back. It's been quite good having that over the winter I suppose because they are quite unsightly. I had comically bandaged toes for 2 weeks and they were uncomfortable to walk on for a couple of days. I've had one infection which was incised under local in ortho clinic and I agree the local going in hurts like ** and you have to remember to breathe. Very effective though. Hope it goes ok for you.

Pennypig Thu 27-Feb-14 08:45:02

Thanks all, I think I'll see my gp and see if they can give any advice or a referral. Here's hoping it will be sorted finally! X

EmNetta Thu 27-Feb-14 17:26:11

GP took off one of my big toe nails a few years ago, local anaesthetic in surgery, worst part was that needle going in. Had to have it dressed by nurse alternate days, rather sore and very inconvenient and wish I could have done this myself, as I got fungal infection in same toenail when it grew back. Operation was for ingrowing toenail, not successful.

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