Permanent toenail removal like any medical procedure is something that should be well understood, along with all of its pros, cons, risks, and benefits before making this decision. As a foot doctor, I have performed many permanent toenail removals and continue to do so with great results. If you are wondering if permanent toenail removal is right for you, continue to scroll down to read this guide. As always if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment under this blog post. Now let's begin.
Your Guide To Permanent Toenail Removal
Table of Contents:
What Is a Permanent Toenail Removal
Permanent toenail removal involves surgical removal of your toenail. A chemical is used to burn your nail root after the nail is removed. Burning the nail root makes sure that the nail can never grow back. This can be done to one or both sides of your toenail due to ingrown nails, or to your entire toe. A partial nail avulsion (PNA) with matriexectomy. is when just one or both sides of your toenail are permanently removed. If all of your nail is removed permanently, this is called a total nail avulsion (TNA) with matrixectomy.
Reasons Why Somone Would Want A Permanent Toenail Removal
There are several reasons why someone would want their toenail permanently removed. These reasons include
1. A history of nail trauma
Unfortunately, the nail root is very sensitive to damage or previous injury. If the nail root is damaged in any way, this can cause the nail to grow abnormally.
These changes are permanent and can't be reversed.
This can include the nail being much thicker, growing out unevenly, or growing out detached for the rest of your toe. For some people, opting for permanent toenail removal helps them to get rid of the problem of a problematic toenail.
2. Painful nail deformities
Nail deformities like pincer nails for example can be very painful to live with, and also very painful to trim. Other nail issues like accessory nails or other congenital nail problems can cause pain as well. Opting for a permanent toenail removal as well is a viable option.
3. Recurrent ingrown nails
In the case of ingrown nails that don't respond to previous attempts at removal, or other ways of prevention like trimming your nails correctly, or not wearing shoes that squeeze your toes, applying a chemical to the border of your nail once that side is removed, and preventing this from coming back is a treatment option.
Risks of permanent toenail removal
Any medical procedure has its risks, and permanent toenail removal is no exception. These risks include
Taking longer to heal
Pieces of the nail growing back
As always your doctor should do a thorough history and physical on you before proceeding with this procedure. This lowers the risk significantly of any complications and ensures that you have the best outcomes for healing.
Step-by-step process for permanent toenail removal
Book an appointment or consultation with your local foot doctor if you have been considering permanent toenail removal, to see if this procedure is right for you.
Once at your foot doctor's office, he or she will go over your medical history and take an exam. This exam will check things like the circulation to your feet to be sure that you have enough blood flow to heal from this procedure.
Once the risks and benefits of the procedure are discussed, consent forms are signed. Your toe will be cleaned with alcohol and Lidocaine will be injected into different points of your toe to numb you. This is required to keep you comfortable during this procedure.
After getting numb, your toe will be cleaned with iodine or another skin cleanser to kill any bacteria on your skin.
Different instruments will be used to gently lift your toenail from your nail bed, and then remove it from the nail root.
A chemical (either phenol or sodium hydroxide) is applied to the nail root using q-tips.
Your toe will be bandaged up. And you receive a post-op kit to take home.
Permanent toenail removal care instructions
Care instructions after permanent toenail removal include:
1. No swimming in pools, or other bodies of water including lakes, rivers, streams, or the ocean for 2 weeks. No time spent in hot tubs as well.
All of these water sources can harbor bacteria and cause a nasty infection in your toe. Avoid these until fully healed.
2. Pat dry toe after showering or bathing, and apply a bandaid.
Some redness and drainage is normal with this procedure, but this should decrease daily. If redness or drainage is getting worse, if you are seeing pus, or having increased pain, contact your foot doctor.
3. Keep your toe bandaged during your recovery period
Once your doctor says your skin has healed at a follow-up appointment, you don't have to use bandages anymore and can go back to your normal activities.
How long does it take to heal from permanent toenail removal?
On average it can take 2-3 weeks to heal from permanent toenail removal.
Alternatives to permanent toenail removal
Permanent toenail removal is an elective procedure. Alternatives include the following:
Onyfix is a nail correction system that places a band of resin across your nail, and over time as your nail grows out, the nail is straightened. This process takes several months, and more than likely the band will have to be removed and re-applied due to the band loosening once it reaches the tip of your nail.
For nails that have been damaged by trauma, psoriasis, or other diseases, Keryflex is a great non-surgical option. Keryflex is a system that can temporarily restore a normal, healthy appearance to your nail. Your nail is trimmed back, and the Keryflex resin is applied, shaped, and buffed. Keryflex will also have to be reapplied based on how fast your nail grows.
Permanent toenail removal cost
At Direct Podiatry Arizona, we are not contracted with any insurance plans. The cost for permanent toenail removal is $400. This price includes your office visit, the actual procedure, the post-op kit, and the follow-up visit.
Permanent toenail removal, just like any medical procedure should be approached with care. There are several things to take into consideration to know if this procedure is truly right for you. This procedure performed on the right patient, who has an understanding of what permanent toenail removal is can be a very positive decision.
Schedule Your Free Consultation At Direct Podiatry Arizona Today
Looking for a foot doctor or podiatrist in Phoenix who performs permanent toenail removal? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona in Tempe. To view my available appointment times, click here.