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lbliss | all galleries >> Permanent Toenail Removal - the actual surgery! > Thanks Dr. Markewych and his assistant, who also took most of the pictures. What sports!
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Thanks Dr. Markewych and his assistant, who also took most of the pictures.  What sports!
01-MAR-2005

Thanks Dr. Markewych and his assistant, who also took most of the pictures. What sports!

Funny, after removal of the other (left) toenail, I went straight to a holiday party. This time, I'm off to my husband's work party. (I swear I didn't pre-plan the dates as excuses to leave early, really!) So, I went to the party where I stood around for about 2 hours pain free.....and then, almost suddenly, it started.....the pain. By the time I got home, it felt like my heart was in my toe, excrutiating throbbing pain! Oh dear, what did I do? The left toenail removal, though it certainly hurt, did not feel as bad as this. Ice, elevation, and Vicodin barely got me through the night. The next day being on my feet all day at work was hell. Maybe I shouldn't have told him to "burn the hell outa it." Soon though, the intense pain subsided and then all pain disappeared. I continued to have tenderness for many weeks. (Note to anyone considering having this done: ALWAYS cover the naked toe with at least a bandaid when you get in the shower. Even just drops of water beating down on the toe is very uncomfortable. Consider yourself warned!) Though I resumed running in a couple days, I had some discomfort for about 6 weeks as far as downhill running was concerned. By May, it was completely "normal" and I have never had any trouble with it again. In retrospect, I should have left it open to air much more. I know that that would have allowed it to heal up much more quickly. But that just wasn't appropriate at my job, where I need to wear shoes and am on my feet all day. Also, I am glad he burned it real good; that nail ain't ever coming back! In three previous years running the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, despite trying EVERY other remedy imaginable, I have always had to stop at Forest Hill, mile 62, to drain my big toe nail hematomas incurred while running down into the canyons. This past year, however, I never changed my shoes, suffered no blisters, and finished with all 8 toenails. Absolutely no trouble at all. Best thing I've ever done for those bastardly nails! You can even paint the skin if you like your pedicures. I've done it twice, but I'm not much into that. When I am barefoot, nobody even notices that I have no nails. So, in that respect, it is much more cosmetic looking than the blackened toenails in various stages of falling off. Not that I cared about that. For me, it is the practical benefits of permanent toenail removal that far exceed anything else.

Canon PowerShot S400
1/60s f/2.8 at 7.4mm with Flash hide exif
Full EXIF Info
Date/Time01-Mar-2005 16:35:28
MakeCanon
ModelPowerShot S400
Flash UsedYes
Focal Length7.4 mm
Exposure Time1/60 sec
Aperturef/2.8
ISO Equivalent
Exposure Bias
White Balance (-1)
Metering Modematrix (5)
JPEG Quality (6)
Exposure Program
Focus Distance

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Brittany 20-Jun-2013 03:10
I just had the toenails on both great toes permanently removed 2 days ago. Had some moderate pain Monday and Tuesday. Soaking in epsom salt water was just plain awful yesterday!! The worst part of the surgery was the numbing injections. O-M-G! That literally was the worst pain I had ever felt. No lie. But that pain died down very quickly after each shot (4 in each toe)... I hope I never have to go through it again! I've had bacterial infections in my toenail bed (both toes) for over a year and a half which is what made me finally get them removed. permanently. I have had very little pain today. Practically nonexistant! I cleaned them tonight and am letting them air out for a few hours or so before soaking them in epsom salt water and then drying them and letting them air out then I will put antibiotic ointment on and bandage them up for the night.

Thanks for sharing these pics! How are your toes now so many years later?
Pennie 25-Apr-2012 16:43
so wished you had done mine... OMG.... this NP didn't have a clue to what she was doing to me...heading back today to have someone else look at it.
Kellie Altieri 08-Feb-2012 06:23
EEK! The step-by-step photos made me SQUIRM!! For me, just TEARING a nail very short, below the free edge of the nail, is INCREDIBLY painful and it burns for DAYS when any liquid touches it. I can't even *imagine* what kind of pain you were in during the early stage of healing. I'm curious as to why you had this done. I assume that it was because of the chronic problems with it developing hematoma/blood blisters, like you mentioned but, what caused those problems? Ingrown nails, irregular growth/nail beds, etc.? I can't believe that a second nail was growing UNDER the other nail. Could it possibly have been your nail "peeling" in the most extreme way possible, instead of little sections that are common for some people? Sorry for all the questions! I know this took place in 2005 but, this fascinates me for some reason and I'm curious what the cause was. I found this when I googled "under my fingernails the skin is pulling away and it's painful". LOL

Anyways - thank you for documenting this interesting procedure. I've never heard of this surgery before and I hope that other people that have similar problems but, don't know about it, will be able to benefit from it. :)
Mishelle low 28-Jan-2012 16:34
Hi I had both my big toe nails removed, not great exp 8 injections painful. Then I got infections in both couldn't walk for over aweek slowly getting there, they said I have to get all my nails removed no way am I going threw that again the pain was dreadful x
robbie girl 19-Jul-2011 02:55
I am currently 3 days post op double great toe nail removal.
In 2009 I had the left great toenail permanently removed b but it decided to grow back on one side .
My right big toe was in grown twice so I opted to have it permanently removed.
4 injections in each toe for a total of 8.
Problem I had a vagal response and my heart rate dropped to in the 40's and I could not feel my arms.
Not a good experience.
The pain from the injections was awful.But no pain with the actual surgery.
I love my doctor , but nothing is ever easy for me.
I have had little bleeding, no pain post op and look forward to dancing again.
I just pray this will be my last go round with toenail issues.
I would rather paint a nail less set of toes than have so much pain.
Guest 12-Feb-2011 16:52
I just had my left toenail removed a few weeks ago, and I was scared to death. I was more afraid of the needle poke than anything..Actually the needle poke was a sinch! 2 fast pricks and it was over! I worried for nothing...I actually had a question too? Is it alright if I let it air out at home instead of always wearing a bandaid?
June 30-Dec-2010 20:02
Thank you so much for your pic by pic comment on the surgery. I had to have a dressing put on my left big toe today and they told me that I have to go for the toenail removal surgery pretty quick. My toe is now throbbing a bit as I am typing this and I am frighten of what it will be like during and after the surgery. Your comment and pics really helped. Also I am preparing for a race that will take place in 5 months's time I am feeling so depressed because they told me I won't be running for a while and I am worried that I might have to pull out of the race. And no karate training for a while also. You have helped a lot, even though I am still scare stiff of the pain after surgery!.
Holly 18-Aug-2010 23:06
I have to have this done in 2 days. I almost swooned looking at the pics. I am scared to death. Can I borrow your big girl pants?
Bec 30-Jun-2010 17:35
Wow! Great journal!!! Thanks for sharing. I was thinking, I know she's isn't taking the pictures. I have had my share of a continuous ingrown nail at the bed. It is a workman's comp issue. It has been a nightmare the last 33 months. Thought this last time I was having a full removal...but it was only a partial. Knowing how you had yours done, is what I want if I have to do this again. I want it to end!
Stubby 29-Nov-2009 16:34
@Dayna
You are right. Permanent removal is the best way to go.

During the last 12 Month i got removed and phenolized the thumbnail on both hands and the nail of the right indexfinger and the left small finger. The cosmetical result after healing is phantastic and the fingertips are very smooth.
I love the look and the feeling.

So i decided to go the full route and to get done all remaining nails on my hands.

3 weeks ago i got removed and phenolized the remaining 3 nails on my left hand. Healing is still in progress.
If it goes allright then i will get removed the remaining nails on the right hand in the middle of december.
Guest 14-Nov-2009 18:21
Thanks for the pictures and the run down of how its done. I need the same procedure done. Now I know what to expect. Thanks again!!!
Dayna 07-Oct-2009 13:56
I must agree...removal with no regrowth is the BEST way to go. I just had my remaining 3 toenails done this passed week and now have NO toenails left at all. Ahhhh..such a nice feeling to know there will be no more pain in my feet from these nasty things!!
jamie 17-Aug-2009 08:15
OMG!! I have had more ingrown toenails removed than I can count and I have been dead set on getting my big toenails removed for good, but THIS might have changed my mind. UGH!!!! Very very horrific.
Patti 12-Oct-2008 17:41
sorry i had a question as well . how does you toe look compaired to a normal to with a toenail?
Patti 12-Oct-2008 17:39
I am thinking about having a couple of toenails removed due to fungial infection and your experience and the pictures especiall are very help full in giving me an idea of what to expect..thank you.
ImJustMe 23-Sep-2008 13:33
I had the toenail of both great toes removed last year due to fungus. I had them both done in the same day. The worst part for me was the needle stick. I was soooo anxious. Once my toe was numb I was okay. I just sat back and listened to my IPOD the whole time. Anyway, here it is a year and 7 months later and I am going to have them PERMANENTLY removed because they grew back worse. I told the Dr. last time that I didn't want them to grow back but she assured me that the fungus wouldn't return. Well, she was WRONG! Its even worse now than before. I can't take even looking at them anymore. My husbands feet are prettier than mine. So, wish me luck that they'll heal properly and smoothly.
Tot 01-May-2008 03:32
Just a year ago I had hammertoe removal surgery and had some problems w/the healing; make a long story short, the third and forth digits on both feet lost the nail and the nailbeds closed and is still discolored (as if my feet were burned); I would like to "pretty" up my toes and I'm thinking about acrylic or gel overlay for temporary toenails...............what do you know about application of gel or overlay directly to the nailbed (NO TOENAIL)? HELP!
Sheila 26-Mar-2008 22:38
I had my toenail removed on jan15th and i was worried about the iodine i wa told to apply a week lata but now i am so happy becuz my toe now has scabbed up, which according to the doc is really good. Im happy cuz i dont have ot go back to see him anymore . I jus have to wait a couple more weeks for the scab to fall off. Soakin it in dreft is a great idea so thanks for that suggestion i got off of here. Im a stay at home mom so i can walk around all day without a bandaid on to let it get air. The only thing im still worried about is my nail possibly growing back n the toe not being fully healed by summer becuz i am a flipflop n sandal girl. For those who are fully done with this how long did it take before your scab fell off n your toe was healed up?
Emily 04-Apr-2007 15:29
I had the nail on my right big toe removed March 20th and then my left yesterday. I'm very pleased so far and have had no pain with either toe. My Dr. said that keeping it propped up the rest of the first day after removal is very helpful w/ keeping pain at a minimum. I also took 800mg of Advil once arriving home just in case.

The injections are about the worst part of the whole thing, but still not that bad. I experienced more feelings of pressure than anything during the injections.

Thank you for posting your experience, though it made me freak out a little the night before I was set to have the first toe done. :)
Guest 15-Dec-2006 01:24
I just got back from dr and have to have 3 toenails removed just looking at your pictures I broke out into a sweat and got dizzy but I know what to look forward to now. Thank you so much.
Guest 14-Oct-2006 21:36
Thanks for posting your experience After looking at your post, I gathered the courage to get my left big toe nail permanently remove (done 2 days ago). The needle is the worst part..thank goodness it is all done...it is healing nicely, not too much pain. I use witch hazel for the soak and do not remove the bandages, my podiatrist said he will do that since I see him every 5 days or so for the next few weeks (his post ops follow-up includes continued cleaning of the nail bed to allow the new skin regrowth to come in smoother). Interestingly enough...my podiatrist has both of his big toe removed (marathon runner as well)!
Wendy 29-Jun-2006 04:17
Hello,
Thank you for sharing your pictures of the procedure, it was very interesting (no dinner for me tonight..lol)
I've had 3 surgeries (two on one big toe, and one on the other big toe) It seems like the nail has pressure as if someone used super glue on it.
Now, a different toe is having problems + the other two toes still bother me. I'm really considering having them removed.....but, I'm scared~~!!
I have a silly question, before I saw your pictures, I had wondered if you could paint the skin where the nail had been. I read that you wrote that you can do that, does it look odd?? I love having my nails painted but,am thinking it would look funny.
One of my surgeries hurt sooooo bad, I don't know if I can go through with this. You said there was a lot of pain. I had part of the nail plate and root taken off my right big toe. It's been about a year and a half, It still hurts. I had to have a second surgery on that toe....I still have problems.
I had the same thing done to my left big toe, it's not as bad but, it still bothers me. Now, the toe next to the big toe is having problems.
My Grandmother had all 10 nails pulled out, back in the 1940's or 1950's WITH NO PAIN KILLERS.....eeek....
I guess I'm writing to you to thank you for having the pictures posted and to ask about (am I vain,.,.,.,.?) the nail polish, if it looks good? Thank you very much, have a great day. Wendy
Norma 21-Apr-2006 19:14
Thanks so much for your email w/regard to the "monster" toe.
I have had it exposed for about 20 hours a day since the removal was done. I was told to use vinegar and water baths twice a day and us an antibiotic cream. Well, that has been going on lo these many weeks and it continues to ooze yellow and the doctor tells me he has no doubt that it will heal. that everyone heals at a different rate. I was just wondering what the normal healing time is.