Foot Nail Removal Post-Operative Care

POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR INGROWN NAIL REMOVAL
Bryan Bomberg, MD
You have just had a minor surgical procedure for your ingrown nail.  Listed below is important information and postoperative procedures you must know and follow.
Your nail area will drain clear to slightly red fluid.  If only your nail was removed then drainage should stop within 1-2 weeks.  If you had the nail root removed also, then drainage could last a little longer.  In order to minimize this drainage you must soak your toes in the following manner.

NAIL REMOVAL ONLY:  Elevation. Keep dressing on for 1-2 days. Mild spotting may occur on the dressing. Start soaking toe the next day.  Use a solution of 1 teaspoon table salt mixed into 1 pint of water to immerse the toe.  Using a cotton swab, remove all dried drainage and dead skin within the nail groove(s).  Soak for 10-15 minutes two times a day until no further drainage is noted and the skin is normal in color. You can then return to activities as tolerated.  An alternative method is using only a wet cotton swab to cleanse the nail groove(s).  Cover the toe with a Band-Aid when wearing shoes, otherwise let air get to toes. Follow up in 7-10 days.

CHEMICAL ABALATION:  Elevate overnight and as needed for comfort. Start wound care in 1-2 days after procedure.  To do wound care, soak toes using a solution of 1 ounce white vinegar to a pint of warm water.  Pour an amount deep enough to immerse the toes.  Using a cotton swab, remove all dried drainage and dead skin within the nail groove(s).  Soak for 10-15 minutes two times a day until no further drainage is noted and the skin is normal in color,  Apply neosporin or a topical triple antibiotic ointment.  Cover the toe with a Band-Aid when wearing shoes.  Otherwise let air get to toes. Follow up in 7-10 days.

SURGICAL EXCISION OF NAIL BED:  Elevation. Keep dressing dry.  Mild  spotting may occur on the dressing.  If dressing becomes saturated, reinforce the dressing and if this becomes saturated, reinforce the dressing and notify the office for further advice.  Follow as instructed. You will then be instructed in further wound care by your physician.

There is a 10% chance the nail will regrow after the nail root is removed, this would occur months later.  Should this occur with pain or in-growing, please make another appointment to assess the situation.
If you have any questions or problems regarding your surgery, please call our office during regular office hours.  In case of emergency, after hours call our urgent line at 970-879-4612 or 877-404-4612.
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