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Partial Nail Removal (Matrixectomy)

Partial Nail Removal (Matrixectomy) is used to remove a portion of an ingrown toenail which causes pain or discomfort with a patient. The procedure also helps to prevent the ingrown toenail from returning. Using local anesthetic, Matrixectomy is a simple operation that only requires a few minutes to perform.

To prepare for Partial Nail Removal, the toe is properly cleansed while a surgeon places a constricting band  around the toe in order to reduce blood flow. After the surgeon administers the local anesthetic through injection, the toe becomes numb allowing the surgeon to gently lift the ingrown portion of the nail out from under the edge of the skin. A straight line is cut through this piece of the nail from the tip of the nail to the root. This portion of the nail is then completely removed.

The surgeon will then treat the base of the nail (which is called the nail matrix) in order to prevent the ingrown toenail from coming back again. Then, cotton swabs are dipped in a special chemical solution which is held against the exposed nail matrix for a couple of seconds.

The chemical scars the matrix to ensure the nail on this side will not grow again. This typically results in a slightly narrower toenail. When the nail has finished being treated, the surgeon will remove the constricting band and bandage and wrap the toe. Within only a few weeks, the toe will be completely healed.


Dr. Kris Dinucci

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