Published on: April 29, 2022

Nail surgery preparation


Patient Information

You have decided to proceed with a partial nail avulsion (PNA) after discussing this option with your podiatrist. This toenail procedure involves the surgical removal of a section of nail and nail matrix under local anaesthetic + the application of a chemical called phenol as a means to help prevent regrowth of the problematic section of nail. This sheet will provide you with some general information and what you need to know in preparation for your upcoming appointment.

Plan ahead:

  • We recommend you don't drive for 12 hours following administration of the local anaesthetic. Ideally, make arrangements for getting a lift home with someone following the procedure.
  • Open toe shoes, sandals or thongs are recommended so there’s no pressure on the toe and large bandage/dressings following the procedure.

Following the procedure:

  • Ideally, go directly home following the procedure and rest with your leg elevated for the remainder of the day.
  • Excessive walking (e.g. walking for exercise) is discouraged in the first 3-6 days postoperatively. Please discuss with your podiatrist your individual return to sport/exercise recommendations.
  • Tight/narrow fitting sports or dress shoes are discouraged in the first 3-4 weeks following the procedure. You can generally wear roomy shoes after 2-4 days.

Follow-up appointments:

  • To ensure best outcomes, we recommend a follow-up appointment to check the toe, clean it, re-dress it and provide at home care advice. This follow up appointment is best 2-4 days following the PNA.
  • In rare cases, you may need more than one follow-up appointment for re-dressings. We will advise if this is the case following your first re-dress/check-up.
  • We recommend a 10 week review following the PNA to assess outcomes and check that there is no regrowth of the removed nail section (re-growth is rare, ~ I in 100 chance). If re-growth occurs it can usually be rectified with a revision procedure.

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