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lbliss | all galleries >> Permanent Toenail Removal - the actual surgery! > Addendum: I added this picture from April 2008 so you can see the long-term results of my toenail removal (read on below)
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Addendum: I added this picture from April 2008 so you can see the long-term results of my toenail removal (read on below)

The picture was taken immediately after running 100-mile race in 19 hours and 42 minutes. That's a lot of toe beating! My 2 big toenails were removed several years ago now. I still think it was the best thing I've done, so worth the temporary pain and, for me, the rather long recovery.

I can paint them, yes, but usually do not. My feet are so beat up in general from running that I just don't care so much about looks. Personally, I am not interested in fake toenails. That is just not my style and that would greatly interfere with my running.

Functionally, the outcome was wonderful. And I don't think they look so bad!

I would definitely do it again if I had to (but don't since they are gone for good!)

They NEVER give me any trouble. Still, if I stub my toe or drop something on the toe nail bed, it hurts more than when the nail was there. Guess that makes sense though. A small price to pay (for my being a clutz) for the benefit of not having painful ingrown toenails ever again.

I so appreciate everybody visiting this album and all the fascinating comments. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this album would become quite a forum for others to discuss their toes. Pretty cool!

Best of luck to everybody!

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
1/60s f/7.1 at 4.6mm full exif

other sizes: small medium large auto
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Guest 02-Dec-2017 11:11
BTW, I’m a general surgeon and did it myself. Killed the matrix with phenol. Don’t worry about all this nonsense below about days off work. I am always on my feet at work. I operated the same day and ran 15 miles the next day. Best decision you could make if this is a chronic problem from running or ingrowing nails. There is about 5% chance of regrowth after proper phenol matrixectomy.
Guest 02-Dec-2017 10:30
I just permanently removed my own for the same reason. I’m so glad to never again have my nails separate from the nail bed and form hematoma underneath. Can’t wait to run long distance or make a quick cut in a basketball game without the fear of losing my nail.
JANICES WALLOCKS 02-Dec-2017 03:47


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Russel 10-Jun-2017 00:31
wow. respect to you. I never thought I would have another way to satisfy my 2 both toe nail infection for more then 10 years been going through these painful and removing countless of times but still goes back. And till I found theres a way we can permenatly remove our toe nails this can change my life forever. Thank for showing this photo it gave me hope . thank you. And By the way youre feet still look beautiful. God bless you.
Guest 25-Jan-2017 03:58
I was reading all these comments and noticed a couple asking about fake toenails..I get Kiss Toenails that can be glued
On and with nail polish they look good...
Jim 23-Dec-2015 14:52
Jim: I had the nails removed from both big toes about ten days ago after years of struggling with ingrown toenails. The recovery is going well. Still a little bleeding but not too much. I went out to dinner and the theater right after the operation and have not really had to limit my activities. I do walk around the house in stocking feet a lot since that is more comfortable. I'm looking forward to not having to change the bandage every day. The surgery itself was not a problem at all.
Hapa Gurl 11-Nov-2015 04:24
Thank you for the pictures. I had done my two big toes about a year ago and it felt great when it was done. But it was only temporary. It grew back but is now worse than ever. It's been hurting for almost six months now. Because I work at our local hardware store, I am constantly on my feet working, it feels like it has been getting worse every minute. But now after seeing your pictures, I am definitely going to ask for the permanent removal of both nails. I even bought steel toe shoes for work, so I don't hurt my toes when working. Thanks for helping me make my decision.
Happy 13-Apr-2015 19:51
Very good documented account of nail removal. After suffering with severe ingrown large toenails for over 4 years I am relieved to have had this same procedure done. Uncomfortable during freezing, a big yes, but after this it was very doable. Even the discomfort I am still feeling 2 weeks post nail removal is nothing compared to the pain and numbness I've endured daily and all through the night with ingrown nails for years. It seems to be taking quite awhile for the "phenol burn" to heal and there is still a mild nerve tenderness over the nail bed when there is any pressure from blankets or socks. They will never give me any trouble again.... worth it!
Guest Lady 03-Aug-2014 17:56
Thank you so very much for this photo documentary. I have been plagued with ingrowing big-toe nails for about 30 years, and it has gotten progressively worse until these nails are curled and lifted, making it challenging to wear closed-toe shoes other than sneakers; the nail presses against the top of the shoe, and it hurts. Further, the condition has spread to my "index" toe on both feet and is starting in the middle toes. Aside from the "ugly" factor, these nails cause chronic pain--particularly if anything falls/anyone steps on them,--and they are hard to trim for me. I have pictured how awful it would be to be elderly and unable to care for them and have to depend on others for that appealing task. Of course I have tried every fungus remedy, expensive and cheap, I could find anywhere to no avail. So I have wondered if these nails could be permanently removed, what the result would look like, and your story is of great help to me. Thank you again.
RunMamaRun26.2 16-Nov-2013 01:11
Thank you for this informative blog! I have been dealing with ingrown toenails since I was a kid. In 1996, I had a partial removal of my right toenail and haven't had any ingrown nail on that side since. A few years ago I started losing my big toenails (probably as a result of higher mileage marathon training and more frequent racing) and they haven't grown back right ever since. So far so good on my right toenail, but my left toenail had been giving me fits for the past couple years. I got fed up this time after digging at it every couple days and soaking it (thankfully I got the infection out beforehand) I called a foot doc here in town and got my left one permanently removed. It was a dead nail that would have eventually come off had it not gotten ingrown. The new part had barely started growing in when the procedure was done. I have feeling in my toe again but no pain as of now. Nothing I will experience in the next few days will be as painful as when I had points of broken toenail stabbing me on the inside of my toe.

Just another thought... I think you should remove the post from a couple years ago from that person that had the eczema that believes that women should have pretty smooth and polished feet. I've got some equally distasteful remarks for them should I ever meet them in person because that was just plain rude. This is your website, your personal blog and you can put on it whatever you choose. You have helped so many people.

Best of luck to you on the running trails!
Guest 10-Sep-2013 23:38
One week since I had both of mine removed, still weeping and dressing change every 2/3 days, but relief is amazing - back to work this week
The Fee 10-Sep-2013 16:58
Hi, thank you for posting your pics and your experience. I had visited your page a couple of times before but today was D day, i am feeling a bit tender still but i'm hoping it won't be long till they are healed. and i'm just hoping i sleep ok tonight. Hmmm the injections, well they DID hurt, 4 in each toe, i must have had tough old blighters but those blighters are gone now. Once again thank you for your picture diary, all the others searches just tell you about the procedure so to stumble upon a real experience was fab.
nancy 02-Jun-2013 16:33
I had my surgery two weeks ago. I was checking it today (as everyday.. changing bandages.). Wanted to compare what I saw with other images Looks about right. I had it done as a twofer. My right foot had a tendon issue so the doc said lets just get this done two. Hopefully I will be able to put a shoe on in a few weeks.
Roxstar 19-Mar-2013 01:13
hello, I had both of my big toe nails removed about 13 years ago and after seeing your site, its great to know that I am not the only one out there who has this issue. I had each of my large ones removed three times and on the fourth time for each my dr decided to permanently remove them. This was not done for sport however. After reading most of the posts on here I have to say the judgement passed on you for deciding to have this procedure is more disgusting than the graphic pictures. If you have never had an ingrown toenail you can not understand why anyone would have this done. That is the most painful thing to go through. And I have 2 kids! Now the cartilage under my nail grew back and hardened and I hate it and I often times wish I had beautiful feet again but I would never want to go through that pain again. Even I have eczema on my feet but even that and having ugly toenails doesn't stop me from wearing flip flops
Dessy 31-Jan-2013 05:30
Looking at your toenails I doubt that you had it done just for running or cosmetics. People don't understand the emotional effect of having toenails that look like that. Even so, if you did have it done so that you could continue running "BRAVO" for keeping fit. Thick fungused toenails and ingrown toenails are no joke, they are not only very very ugly but they are very painful as well. So to the "Guest with excema" who made all those negative comments, whatever the reason was it was a personal choice and most doctors would not even consider doing such a procedure without justification.
Dessy 31-Jan-2013 05:19
Wow, I thought I was "the only one". I had no idea this is so common. I have hammer toe, an ingrown very thick big toe, and all of my toenails are thick and fungused. He said it's in my genes as my fingernails are also somewhat thick and discolored. The doctor has suggested this procedure to me for all 10 toenails and I am scared to death. But reading the comments and seeing the photos has removed some of the fright, but I am still not sure. For one thing I am a Diabetic and the thought of even one toe nail not healing scares me. He said that I can get them polished and no one would know, plus pretty toenails is something I have always wanted but this seems drastic. But the older I get the more trouble I am having. I have to cut them more and sometimes just the pressure of socks or a blanket over my feet brings on pain and it hurts.
Mary 03-Jan-2013 01:11
Hi, , I am just sitting here 3 days after having permanent removal of my left toenail after a curled toenail caused some deep digging into....causing ingrown toenail. I was told this type of nail (pincer) is usually hereditary,
I was very pleased with how quick and painless the procedure and recovery was.
I was seen by a podiatrist at 4:05, and walked out of the office at 4:20.
I am already feel so much relief! The pain of the ingrown nail is much worse than the removal/recovery.
Besides the deep burn of the 3 shots which isn't enjoyable but not all that feel nothing. A bit of pulling and tugging and then wrapped up and on your way,
I had mine permanently taken off, as my problem would have most likely returned.
Resting and elevating foot first 24 hours, and soaking is the only post procedure. I had zero pain, although I take Alieve for my arthritis so that could have taken a touch of pain I might have had away.
After 24 hours I took the bandage off replaced by a band-aid and back on with mt athletic shoes and back to normal walks, housework, and treadmill....and can't tell I ever had anything done. RELIEF is what is feels like, no more pressure, I look forward to having my other big toe done in the near future.
If you have any problems or pain, please see a podiatrist as they are specialists in this field and would have best advice if this is needed But don't think twice about it if so...just do it. You will be glad you did.
Rick 13-Dec-2012 21:23
Great website. I'm having this procedure done in a few weeks. I was very nervous until I saw your pictures. Although graphic, they were also reassuring. Now I'm just worried about the needle that's SO painful that you never want to have to go through the procedure again.
Casper684 17-May-2012 02:09
Had mine removed in the office of podiatrist last week. I've had the sides removed before but after what the doctor called "turkey toe" (dropping something on your big toe usually at Thanksgiving) I decided to just have it removed. 2 simple well slightly painful injections in the toe and that was it. Didn't feel a thing and no pain afterwards. I was able to go to the gym the next day with my bandaged toe. Soak 20 min daily and apply a dressing. Hubby jealous as his was done years ago by family MD and lots of pain and meds. Go to a podiatrist a DPM. New techniques made a world of difference.
Bill Wood 12-May-2012 17:12
Thanks for the trouble, I wasn't even sure such surgery was available. A couple of questions. What type surgeon would be experienced in this type procedure? And how long after the surgery was it before you could lace up you shoe and do at least a light workout, in my case, golf. And one suggestion, just delete the abusive or profane comments. These jerks don't know what it's like to have abnormal toenails that constantly become ingrown and impinge on nerves.

Sean 08-May-2012 04:22
Old blog post, but...

Just today I got "surgery" done to reshape the nails of my big toes and remove the edges, along with a phenol burn to destroy the matrix. I had never even known this existed, if I had, I would've done it years ago. Since I was 12 years old (13 years ago) I had fought occasional in-grown nails, but two years ago it got worse, and in August of '11 it became nearly permanent; I'd get a week or two here and there where I felt okay but never fully healed, I kept missing some part of the nail in my DIY surgery.

Once I started getting them on the outside of the nail two months ago, the pain was quadrupled and then some. They were so sensitive, and I couldn't even ATTEMPT to dig out the nail because of the pain. My mom finally talked me into seeing a podiatrist. I didn't see the point; I have no insurance, and I didn't much see the point in spending hundreds for temporary relief. I finally gave in, and when he told me "I'll use an acid to burn the nail matrix in what I remove so it never grows back" I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

He numbed me (WOW that hurt) and cut the nail, pulled out HUGE sections (Couldn't believe how much was in there!) and did a phenol burn. Currently in a lot more pain than I was before the surgery, but I'm hopeful. :)

I guess my question is; why did you have the entire nail removed? Had you done the partial removal before and it just didn't work for you? After so much time spent where every step was a nightmare, I'm hopeful that this is finally over.
Kale 15-Mar-2012 14:25
I had a recurring ingrown toenail problem too. After countless wedge resections and a supposedly permanent partial removal, which still ended up recurring anyway, I finally went for a complete removal last week! Looking forward to many years ahead of painless big toes!
Stephanie 14-Feb-2012 19:09
Thank you for posting this. I had a partial removal lat week, and all was going well until last night when I was awakened from a dead sleep, pain, swelling and a red streak coming from the toe. I go back in a little while for my follow up, and am very much considering doing the same as you with both big toes purely for comfort as this is a recurring, hereditary problem. I four feet can look this good without big toe toenails, well so can mine. Thank again.
Guest 02-Feb-2012 10:16
Thanks so much for posting all this. We found out yesterday that our 17 yr old son is going to have his toenails removed in a few weeks' time. I hadn't heard of the procedure before and was a bit shocked. Seeing these pictures has really helped me to get my head round the idea. Thanks.
Courtney 07-Jan-2012 01:55
This makes me wish I would have had mine permanently removed yesterday. I've had several surgeries to permanently remove each side of my big toe nail. 3 years ago when I was pregnant, the top half of my nail died and kept dying but slowly grew out. About a week ago, it grew into the skin at the top of my toe and got infected. On the advice of the doc, I didn't do a permanent removal in the hopes that when it grows back I don't have anymore trouble with it....but I had forgotten how much those needles HURT! lol
Ted 18-Dec-2011 14:41
I fought toenail fungus for nearly 30 years. Had ingrown surgery twice and the nails would still ingrow after time. About three years ago, I finally had had enough. I went in and had my two big toenails removed. The recovery pain wasn’t really all that bad and was mostly gone after a couple of weeks. I then went in and had the other eight toes done in one sitting because I didn’t want to keep going back for more. I was a little slow on my feet for a couple of weeks but healed rapidly and didn’t need any pain killers. After about a year, three of the toes still had some remnants that continued to grow and I went back and had them retreated. Now, after 30 plus years of nearly constant pain, I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. For me, it was the best thing I ever did and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. I don’t even notice the fact I have no toenails at all and it doesn’t affect my life in any way. Thank you for the website!
tazz9501-Dec-2011 00:00
i had an ingrown toenail on my left foot and i cut IT and everything was fine but after a while my foot started getting swollen and it would bleed. so i went to the ER and they told me that the nail was not there and that with some antibiotics the swellness and pain would go away. it did but now again its back but much worse and my toenail is perfect i cut it straight across and now im scared of going to the hospital again. what should i do?
julie scott 11-Nov-2011 02:47
I had my first toenail removed & then done the burning of the roots. mine keep getting infected did you have this problem with yours? and i had the other one done the end of Oct both of 2011 how long does the recovery take? any infections with yours?
karen 01-Nov-2011 02:02
Thanks for the info and pics. I am a cancer patient and never had problems with my toenails until I started taking a chemo pill called Tarceva. Now it's so bad that I am considering complete toenail removal or at least the sides on both my big toes. I am scared, but tired of being in pain all of the time. I am b;ack and wonder how bad it will look because I think it doesn't look bad on a white person. But I think I'm gonna do it. So thanks for the detailed description and the pics!
Jean 26-Oct-2011 13:57
I have searched and searched for information like this on the internet. This was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this for so many to benefit from! Both of my parents are having all 10 nails removed, and I'm a bit leery as you can understand. This eases my mind.

Congrats on your running. Hubby is a marathoner and thinking about doing his first 50K. Luckily no nail problems as of yet... THANKS AGAIN!!!
Guest 08-Sep-2011 02:35
Thanks 4 posting ur experience with the ingrown toenail. I'm strongly considering permanent removal of my right toenail because I feel a second surgery won't fix the problem and eventually it'll just grow right back. I lived through the surgery but it's not something I really want 2 experience over & over again. I drive 4 a living so i really use my right foot alot so i feel this problem will keep coming back. Thanks again 4 sharing. I'm off 2 the foot doctor and I'll decide what 2 do from there.
Chuck 26-Aug-2011 21:00
Thanks for such a complete explanation of the process. I'm considering having my right big toenail removed due to constant pain from the weird way it grows (sideways). I can only wear sandals. I can't even trim it myself and have to see my VA podiatrist every few months for trimming, which gives only moderate pain relief. I have a very low pain tolerance so am still worried about that. Is it something I should be able to tolerate? I'm 71 years old. Thanks
Jessica 25-Aug-2011 03:56
This gallery was very interesting to me! i did pointe for years and have suffered countless ingrown toenails and everything that comes with it... in two weeks I'm getting both of my big toenails removed permanantly too. It wasn't my first option..I wanted to get them removed, and then have them grow back all perfect and normal but the doctor said that could never happen because of all the damage done in the nail bed. Some people are being rude on here and feel like it's right to tell you you've done something wrong just because they don't know how it feels to do anything it takes to be your best. I've been really nervous about my upcoming nail removal and at first, looking at your pictures made me feel a bit squeemish(sp?) but then the end result was very uplifting. I'm excited to have normal looking feet again..something I haven't had in about 5 years. Having no big toenails is not that big of a deal, like people could always paint it if they wanted or just have it natural looking and no one would really even notice a difference...sure everyone has a right to their own opinions but it bothers me the way certain people feel the need to just critisize you and your desisions that, for you, turned out to be very rewarding ones. Anyways I just wanted to say this blog has made me feel less scared and just more excited about the aftermath, and feeling like I can wear sandals again! Thanks for posting!!!
John 17-Aug-2011 12:58
@Guest: On one side I can understand you, it seams to be freaky to want to have toenails removed. But if you are battling with reccurring problems (pain, infections, antibiotics etc.) for years and a failed surgery (regrowth after partial matrixectomy) your only wish will be to be able to live without problems, to be able to do long hikes or runs without a permanent fear of new problems and handicaps again and again. Functionality is going to be more and more important and the appearance is going to be petty.
Last January I had my left big toenail permanently removed, and I can only say it's great to be freed of problems! Due recurring problems with the right big toe and the second toe (infection again, antibiotics again) I'm going to have removed all my other toenails within two weeks.
I think everyone has to decide himself what's the best option. And believe me, there are worse things than nailless feet!
Guest 14-Aug-2011 05:20
Funny, I came to this site to try and get some advice and help for post-op... and all I find is stupid comments on how you've gotten toenails REMOVED so you can keep running!!!! What a f--king disappointment!!!! Thanks for nothing!!!
Guest 14-Aug-2011 05:15
And for the record... I'm commenting because I recently HAD to have ingrown toenail surgery on my right big toe as a result of losing most of my toenail from an eczema outbreak! (not by choice because of some stupid sport!) It was a horrible ordeal and I've never had problems with ingrown toenails before the eczema became a problem. Thus why I have such an issue with those who would have this surgery just so they can RUN!!!! I am 1 week post op and still really red, puffy and sore, but my experience was not too bad. I had a great doctor and I would have this done again in a heartbeat if I was forced to, but to do it just for a f--king sport is RIDICULOUS!!! I am SO upset that my feet won't be as pretty as they used to be I could vomit!!! Women should take pride in their appearance and that includes their feet/toes! Eddie Murphy said it right... "who wants a woman with Hammertime in her shoe?" AMEN!!! I hope my toe will recover quickly... as soon as it does I'm off to have a pedicure!!
Guest 14-Aug-2011 04:37
This is NAAAAAAAAAASTY!!!!! All this for a stupid sport?!?!?!?!? You would mutilate any part of your body just so you can run farther and faster? Gross!!! Absolutely disgusting!!! You call yourself a woman? Women should have pretty feet... pedicured, soft and polished. I noticed your other toes are polished... why do you even bother?!?!?!? It's just like those stupid Iron Man triathlon runners who have bleeding nipples!!!!! GGGRRROOOSSS!!!!!! Or even better... women marathon runners who shit themselves and bleed everywhere because they happen to be on their period during the race!!!!! PUKE PUKE PUKE!!!!!! NASTY!!!!! I have NOTHING against working out but DAMN!!!!
Connie11-Aug-2011 13:34
I had to have my two big toenails removed due to complications from chemo. One healed beautifully, but the other (done 4 months ago) still hasn't dried up. The removal was horrendous because the repeated shots he put in that toe didn't mask the pain as it did with the other toe. I'm afraid to go back to a podiatrist because this toe is so sensitive but it should dry up by now! Is there any advice someone can give me to get this toe to heal??
Mike 25-Jul-2011 22:48
Great pics through the process! I recently had both big toenails removed two weeks apart from each other and the first one is healing well, I believe the key is lots of air and keeping them bandaged in shoe. So far so good, and as for the pain of removal there was no pain the only nervous part was the needle. Glad its over and hopefully I never see those toenails grow back:-)
Guest 07-Jul-2011 11:48
Hi, i had my left big toenail removed 3 years ago and i had no long lasting problems.
Just this week, i have had to have my right big toenail removed, but i was unlucky, after removal, an infection set in and i had to attend the emergency department! the pain was unbearable and my toe had swelled causing it to generate more pain than i could emagine. Hopefully i will be on the mend after my course of antibiotics. my toe is not a pretty sight.
Lisa 24-Jun-2011 17:47
I had this same procedure done over 10 years ago---best thing I ever did. I still look for fake toenail options because I love Sandals but for now I just paint the skin and it is not really that noticable. I am starting to have pain in my second toe nail and am thinking about having it removed as well. If you have pain, if you squeel everytime your toe gets touched, HAVE THEM REMOVED. It is so worth it!
Guest 11-May-2011 17:53
wow your site really helped me out. Here I sit at home and out of work because of a toenail removal. Because of you I now know what to expect in the future and I "kinda " got to see what was going on in the OR while I was out. Painful YES worth it YES. I had a damaged nailbed and the nail would only grow half way everythime and then fall off. Wont have to go through that again. Thanks again for your posting. I will now be able to show my family what I went through. Have fun Running ..Im an avid Hiker :)
Guest 13-Apr-2011 19:08
Thank you for the pictures of the entire event. I have had my L big toe done three times now in four months for ingrown and infection and now fungus. The needles are the worst, but once that's over, it's fine. If this has to be done again, I will opt for entire removal. I am just painfully tired of going through this! So, thank you again for giving me the encouragement I needed to even consider this. And the results don't look bad at all.
Michelle 13-Apr-2011 11:56
Hi - I'm about to have this done on Friday, eeek! Can anyone suggest what I can do for a 'fake' nail in its replacement? Please? I'm a big runner, but at the same time want to be able to wear open toe shoes and have my feet look good. Thanks, Michelle.
Suzy-x- 23-Mar-2011 22:28
Hi - thanks for the pictures and your account of your procedure, mine was very much the same..... i'm from the UK, had my right toenail removed when I was 13 under general anaesthetic - which was 20 years ago, and had stitches, but 4 days ago, I had my left toe nail surgery and now they do a different procedure and use local anaesthetic! The most painful bit that day was the 4 needles in my toe ! ! ! But... I coped. I've been managing for 5 days now and the throbbing is still ongoing but each day it is slightly better than the previous. I'm in this for the long haul now, so got to wait for it to mend. Looking forward to painting the toe just like the rest and you can't tell. Best wishes to all those who do this, just try to cope with the soreness - I know it will eventually go and you can still get some sleep so it's not all bad !
Guest 05-Mar-2011 17:03
My wife had this done.We were wondering which is best for summer.Paint the skin?.or are ther fake nails for this type situation?Any input appreciated!
Guest 05-Feb-2011 08:24
thank you so much for posting your surgery. i am considering having at least my left big toe nail removed because it is ingrown and the pain is almost intolerable at times. i lost both big toenails several times from accidents and dancing and they never grew back quite right each time. i'm just plain sick of it. i have to wear sneakers wherever i go because of the pain and feel like an old lady. i might be 40, but i want to still wear dresses and boots and heels, etc. i am terrified of the surgery and the healing process, but at least i have an idea of what to expect now and what questions to ask. thank you so much.
Tommy 20-Dec-2010 03:05
Kelly, That is normal. The Phenol they use burn the skin as it will look pruny. Once the sides of the nail heals you could dry it out and it will look normal. Yes, there is no guarantee that the nail does not grow out deformed. I did a permanent removal because of the risk of deformity. I had nail fungus that eventually caused the nail to thicken and become ingrown. Good luck healing
Kelly 16-Dec-2010 02:39
I went in for ingrown toenail removal on both sides of my left toe - the entire nail had to come off as he said it was loose. I am now about 5 days post nail removal and have been doing the soaks 2x day and each time putting on a new bandage with ointment. Do you remember if your skin ever peeled on the sides of your toes from this - Im assuimg it is keeping my foot damp because of the ointment and probably like having very pruny fingers after being in a bath too long. But wondering if this happened to you. Thanks - and I don't think they look bad at all - kind of wish he would have done the phenol on my entire toenail and not just the sides- it will be my luck that my toenail grows in icky and with them ingrown again.
Marilyn 11-Nov-2010 04:00
Aug 09 I had a full removal of L gr toenail. Two previous partial surgerys had grown back. Now one yr and a bit later the left nail has grown back very rough and distorted. Two applications of Phenol were used and it still grew back. Two days ago I had the right toe nail totally removed and Three applications of phenol applied. I really hope this is the end of that nail as it was badly infected and extremely painful for the last two months. It appears as this is a very common problem. The worst of the pain is the needles from the anesthetic and the nuisance afterwards of the soaking till it heals.
Guest 04-Nov-2010 22:33
I'm thinking of getting both my big toenails removed permanently because just like you, i'm so sick of frequent pain of ingrown nails... which might cause another ugly infection. Thanks for pasting those detailed gruesome pictures. It brings ease to my mind, and confidence to undergo procedures.
Gayle 04-Nov-2010 19:42
Thank you so much for posting the finished product. Of course I'm still confused. How do they look like when you paint them? I thought about fake nails because I am 66 years old and have not worn open toe shoes in 40 years! I have been fighting the fungus with no luck. I plan on having both nails done at the same time and will get the drip so will be sleeping.
Guest 29-Sep-2010 17:54
Glad to see it work so well I just had mine removed only people who have in grown toe nails can really appreciate the benefit of having the toe nail permantely removed
Guest 10-Sep-2010 06:10
greta 17-Aug-2010 15:58
wow it doesnt looked ive been reading your post here...i had my toenail removed 6hours ago...but mine is not a permanent as you not growing your nails back...mine will grow back...if it will recur once gonna have it removed just like yours so it wont grow back again...
Jennifer 15-Aug-2010 03:36
Man, you are hard core! I almost lost my lunch just looking at those pictures. When I had an ingrown toenail removed 24 years ago, I started to go into shock after they injected the anesthetic. It was funny actually to see the doctor look very worried, lol. Unfortunately the recovery introduced some sort of fungus not treatable by prescriptions into my nail which spread to other nails. I was living in a college dorm at the time. Grrrr! But I do thank you for posting them. I've been wondering what big toes look like without nails. Not as bad as I thought! They definitely look better than the warped nails that grow back on my feet.
muffin 08-Aug-2010 16:40
I had my right big toenail removed 2 weeks ago. I expected a drawn-out procedure but the surgery actually took 5 minutes. It must be done by a podiatrist/surgeon. My left toenail was done 3 years ago by my primary-care physician and it is growing back. It also took quite some time to get the nail off. So my £1 recommendation is to have the right doc do the surgery. The most painful part - for me - was the anaesthetic shots. It's best to keep the toe exposed to air circulation when possible.
Guest 26-Jul-2010 09:30
Hi There, I am in my early 20S and my big toe nail has already fallen off 3 times!!! First when my Dad stood on it my accident when I was 5, then twice on nights out in clubs, Grils with stilettos.

The first 2 times it grew back normally. But the third time it was thicken, discoloured and UGLY! So I went to the Doc cause it was starting to hurt. He advised surgical removal bu tdid NOT kill the bed, he said I had a 50/50 chance of it growing back normally.

Surprise surprise it didn't. It is thick discolred adn starting to dig into my bed. I think I will have to go through the removal AGAIN! This time I'll probably kill the bed. I love highshoes, sandals, flip flops and being barefoot in the Summer. WIll all of this be a thing of the past, I don't want everyone to stare or for me to constantly cover my feet. Currently I use black nail polish which camoflages really well....HELP any advice and making a toenailess toe look it possible
Pamela 30-Jun-2010 01:36
HA HA HA........we started looking right at the pics, because my husband is going to have his right big toe permanently (we hope) removed. It was funny because we looked at all the pics before at the end we reazixed you were a woman!! He is kinda scared but said if a woman can do it, he can!!! Thanks for showing him who the braver tougher sex is in this case.............ha ha!
Linda 04-Jun-2010 00:52
Just had a portion of my left great toenail removed for the second time in 6 months. I talked with my Dr. regarding having both my great toenails removed permantly due to going through this multiple times. (5 times already) I'm ready to have them done. How could you take pictures while having the procedure? God bless you for doing so! Everyones comments just reaffirms to me to have it done! Thank-you!
Meredith 30-May-2010 02:42

I can respond to any questions if you don't get a reply. I'm a few weeks in my healing from having my 2 big toe nails permanently removed (1 of them of was curling in badly) so I'm still "living it" and it's very much on my mind every day and I know my family is a bit tired of hearing me talk about it. lol.

Liz 27-May-2010 02:09
I am glad to have chosen this album to look at, as I have finally received a referral to a nail "specialist"/ surgeon. I have to get both my big toenails probably removed because they are curling inwards on the sides. I do however have a few inquiries, that I would like to ask you if you respond to this post. Othwise I still appreciate you courage to do this. I'm scared myself to do this but I know it has to be done. Thanks again.
Guest 06-Apr-2010 03:05
I had to go through chemotherapy. and both of my big toe nails have suffered. The left one is not as bad as the right, but I have finally decided to get the right nail removed-- with the same proceedure you have documented with pictures. Thank-you for this, now I know what is to come. I'm still a bit freaked out about it.... kinda funny since I have already been through 4 surgeries. but hey, I'm human. Again, thanks for sharing.
Stubby 20-Mar-2010 12:45
Healing will take between 6 or 8 weeks.

4 weeks ago i got removed and phenolized the remaining 3 nails (middle-, ring- and small finger) on my right hand.
There are still scabs. I think in about 2 or 3 weeks healing will be complete.

Now i have no more nails on my hand. All fingertips round and smooth.

But on some fingers there are growing back very-small amounts of nail, which will be removed in a coming session.
The problem with the phenol-method is that sometimes you dont get the full nail-root.

Another option of surgery is the method of Lapidus, where the nailbed and nailroot will be cut out, the bone of the terminal phalanx will be shortened. So you get a nice end with only a small scar. There is no transplantation of skin needed.
Colin Hardy 18-Mar-2010 01:13
hay there i have recently had mine removed permenantly as i have sufferd with ingrown toenails before, the best move i must say but im only a week in so still abit uncomfortable but its all good, i noticed some swealing on one toe but the other seems fine, i had both mine out too. does it take long for the healing process as at the moment im still on the scaby pussy stage and to be honest cant wait to wear my good pair of trainers again! hate sandles in the Great British weather lol.
Guest 15-Jan-2010 04:26
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. After having my big toenail painfully removed twice, my doctor has recommended that I have it removed permanently. I hope that it will heal as well as yours did. Thank you again.
Guest 13-Dec-2009 20:29
Hi Lisa
Thanks for this walthrough of your toenail removal.
I have an infected right big toenail and it is planned to be taken off under local anaesthetic in 3 days time! (I am not looking forward to it and am planning 3 days off work but will get no sick pay! - a double pain). Might be hobbling over Christmas 09.
It looks from this like you received good treatment at the clinic you were at and that the recovery can be more troublesome than the treatment. Anyway I hope I am as brave as you and I wonder whether I might take my camera (madness?!). I am glad your removals have worked for you as infected nails are definitely painful and troublesome. Perhaps I will post a comment after my operation!
Thanks again for your effort in making your toenail removal a public service! Take care
Stubby 29-Nov-2009 15:10
On 5th November i got removed and phenolized the 3 remaining fingernails on my left hand.
The thumbnail and the nail of the little finger on my left hand have been permanently removed last year.
The thumbnail and the nail of the indexfinger on my right hand have been permanently removed early this year.
The only nasty thing have been the injections. The op itself there was no discomfort. There was also no pain after the op and the following days.

When the healing of my left hand is completed then i will get removed the remaining nails on my right hand.

After healing the cosmetical result is phantastic and the fingertips are very smooth.
Guest 09-Nov-2009 01:58
On Oct 30, 2009 I had 4 toe nails removed from my right foot. OMG. Never before, out of all my surgeries (c-sections, hysterectomy, appendix) have I had so much pain. I was lucky, I was put out, so the only uncomfortable thing I felt was the iv being put in. Afterwards, within an hour, it was so painful. The stuff they use to burn, I swear I think he left it on! And I don't want to know, but it feels like my foot was placed in a vise of some sort and my toes smashed with a hammer. Thank good ness I was knocked the heck out. And as I look at my toes now, elevated on a pillow..I imagine my doctor with a face shield on, and a blow torch getting the roots. I'm not at a place now to say if I made the right choice or not, but I will let you know!
Cristina Villanueva 02-Sep-2009 15:22
Thanks for this step-by-step walkthrough of the procedure. It really help me understand visually what my procedure was. I too got a ingrown toe nail on my right foot removed yesterday and have been doing very well with the pain. I didn't get to see anything since my doctor took the best procedures so that I would not feel any pain. Good Luck to anyone getting the procedure, it is a lot better to just get it over with. :) I am glad that I did.
Marilyn 30-Aug-2009 14:44
Just went online to see ifthere was anything concerning this. Ive had a partial removal of the L. gr toenail removed twice only to have it grow back. This time I/m going for the whole think. Nervewracking. thinking about and the pics are not pretty. I must confess the partial wasn't too bad.though. Sounds like the afterpain can be pretty bad. and the recovery can be long?
Guest 05-Mar-2009 00:46
I had my right big toe nail removed yesturday. after eveything said and done it wasn't that bad. I agree the needles are the worst part. I was a litle freaked out during the numbing stage but gave my girlfriend a good laugh. Pain scale for me was ~3-4/10. I'm definately glad I decided to go throught with it. I'm getting my left done next wednesday. kristy
Joyce 20-Feb-2009 16:13
Hi everyone
I had my toe mail removed about 5 weeks ago. Really never had any pain except when it started healing. Whoa! I wake up at night and it feels like something is biting my toe. The recovery is wrose than the removel. How long does it take for it to stop hurting. I still have it wraped w/ gauge because their is still stuff weepig from it. Gross! I'm still soaking it 2 times a day. So done with this! lol
jo 05-Feb-2009 10:36
i had both pinky toes and a big toenail removed. i went the route of being sedated and having them lasered off. Recovering of the pinky toes was the most painful thing to go through. the slightest bump sent me to my knees in tears and agony. the big tow was a breeze except it grew back and i had to go the in offoce surgical route. i still have some edges that grew back but i am content just clipping them off. great ideas documenting your procedure. thanks
bex 15-Dec-2008 02:28
Hi. I have suffered from really bad feet for two and a half years have been to several podiatrists and spent a lot of money on trying to solve my problem. I have had a fungal infection a bone infection and last week both of my toenails (of the toe next to the little toe) just came off. I wear trainers or flip flops (thongs) and take great care of my feet so I feel that the state of my feet is not reflective of how they are looked after. I have also bunions which i think is whats caused the big toe nail to grow in. I have had loads of work done and it's always really painful before I get to see the doc. I am at my wits end with it all and was considering having this surgery done. Just to be free of the hassle and pain. Im Really SCARED and I need to know scale of one to ten how much it hurts and what happens after? how long is the recovery? Be great if you can get back to me and let me know....I'm such a chicken! Thanks
you brave lady.
Alexandra 03-Nov-2008 12:19
Thank you guys, the information on this site is very helpful but also scary.
I have had my both big toenails and second toenails removed on the 29th October.
I have had fungus nail infection for years and had big toenails removed several times. I used to be a marathon runner and still run a lot you see…
In my case the nail plates were surgically removed. ( is there anyone with the same case…?)
The pain 14 hours after the numbness has gone was excruciating …..
It is day four , no pain at all and tomorrow I am seeing the doctor for the redressing.
The thing worries me the most is how long this possess is going to take. I only took 2 weeks off work and I work as a fitness coach – personal trainer so it is very important to keep my feet safe…
I don’t really know what I am going to do … Could anyone give some info about their time off work and more comments about recovery….?
Thank you.