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What is a nail wedge resection?

 Permanent Nail Removal

thwaites
Nail Wedge Resction. This toe has been anaesthetised with local anaesthetic.

A wedge resection is a minor nail operation, usually done in a podiatrist’s rooms.  It involves the narrowing of a nail by a few millimetres and the killing off of those nail cells so that that narrow strip never regrows.

A nail resection can be done in three ways.  Podiatrists almost exclusively use a method called chemical cautery.  What makes this method preferable is that it doesn’t involve cutting the skin. Looking at the picture of the nail below, you can see the part of the nail that you are familiar with and a ‘skirt’ under the skin at the base of the nail.  After local anaesthetic is introduced at the base of the toe, a cut is made as shown, through the nail only, with a special tool.  When this strip of nail comes out, a little pocket is left under the skin.  A drop of chemical is put in there which kills the nail growing cells and that is the only injury to the toe. Essentially, the only damage to the toe is a small chemical burn about the size of a match head.  There is often very little in the way of discomfort afterwards and because no skin is cut, no stitches are required.

The whole process is generally a lot less painful than a mildly ingrown nail.  Best of all, it lasts forever. For more information, please browse to Ingrown Toenails.  Click on the following link to return to Podiatry FAQs Blog.

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