Partial Nail Removal (Matrixectomy)

Overview

This procedure is used to remove the problem portion of an ingrown toenail and to prevent the ingrown toenail from recurring. Matrixectomy is performed under local anesthetic, and requires only a few minutes to complete.

Preparation

In preparation for the procedure, the toe is washed and a constricting band is placed around the toe to reduce blood flow. The surgeon administers injections of local anesthetic to numb the toe.

Removing the Nail

The surgeon gently lifts the ingrown portion of the nail out from under the edge of the skin. This portion of the nail is cut in a straight line from the tip of the nail to the root and then removed.

Treating the Matrix

The surgeon treats the base of the nail, called the nail matrix, to prevent the ingrown toenail from recurring. Cotton swabs are dipped in a chemical solution and held against the exposed nail matrix for several seconds. The chemical scars the matrix so that the nail on this side cannot regrow, which will result in a slightly narrower toenail.

End of Procedure

Once the nail has been treated, the constricting band is removed and the toe is bandaged and wrapped. The toe will heal within a few weeks after the procedure.

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