If you have been struggling with ingrown toenails or other major toenail issues for a while, your doctor may have recommended that you have your entire toenail removed. You might be surprised to hear that and unsure of what to expect from the procedure and from the healing process. Get to know some of what you can expect from a toenail removal. Then, you can be better prepared on the day of your podiatrist appointment.
Expect a Local Anesthetic
Luckily, toenail removal is not such a major procedure that you need any type of general anesthesia. Your doctor will inject a local anesthetic into the toe around the toenail. They will often tie off your toe to keep the anesthetic in the area and increase the speed at which it takes effect.
This anesthetic can sometimes last up to 12 to 15 hours. So, be prepared for your toe to be numb for quite some time after the procedure.
Expect It to Go Quickly
Toenail removal is a very quick procedure. In a matter of seconds, the toenail can be completely removed. You will feel little to no pain due to the local anesthetic but may feel pressure and a slight sting.
A word of caution though, it is better not to look while the toenail is being removed. There will be a fair amount of bleeding that occurs, making the process look much worse than it actually is.
Expect to Keep Your Bandage on for 1–2 Days
Once your toenail is removed and your toe is all bandaged up, you will be ready to be on your way. When you do leave, expect to be told to keep that same bandage on your toe for one to two days after the procedure. This means you need to refrain from getting your toe wet for those days. No showering unless you can figure out a way to keep the bandage completely dry.
Expect to Soak Your Toe Twice Daily After the Bandage Is Removed
After you are able to remove and change the bandage, it will be a good idea to soak your toe in warm water twice a day. If you have some, get some Epsom salt to put in the water as well. This promoted healing and can help prevent your toe from developing an infection as it heals. It is important to stick to this soaking schedule if you want to heal as well and as quickly as possible.
Expect Healing to Take Several Weeks
Full healing of your toe after the toenail is removed will take several weeks. After about one to two weeks, any pain you feel should subside. However, it is important to continue to keep the toe protected to prevent damage and injury as it heals.
Now that you know more about what you can expect from toenail removal, you can go to your podiatrist appointment feeling prepared and confident. For more information, speak with a podiatrist.