Nail Surgery Aftercare

Post Surgical Care

What to expect after surgery – the first week.

You have just had a minor surgical procedure performed on your toenail and you can therefore expect to experience a little discomfort post-operatively.

To ease discomfort and protect the wound, wear open shoes post-surgery to reduce pressure on the area for ay least 24-48 hrs.

Our general advice is to reduce physical activity during the first week after a PNA procedure.

You may be able to take your usual paracetamol pain relief medication as directed on the packet if required. Talk to your pharmacist to see if this is appropriate for your circumstances.  Do NOT take aspirin or anything containing aspirin as this may increase bleeding.


Infection control.

You should not disturb or allow the dressings that have been applied by your podiatrist to get wet. 

  1. Remove dressing in 24 hours (or as directed) and shower as you would normally. Soak your foot daily in warm water and salt (1-2 TBSP in 1 litre) for up to 10 min, gently clean the toe around the surgical site.
  2. Apply Betadine liquid (Povidone iodine) twice a day after showering and apply the Cutiplast sterile dressing you have been supplied by us.  You should have enough supply for 3-4 days.
  3. Take the pain medication or oral antibiotics as directed (if prescribed)

Changing Dressings at home.

You should carry out future dressings at home in the following way: 

  • Suitably dispose of the soiled dressing (to be done until the next consultation). 
  • Keep foot dry until the next consultation
  • Apply one drop of Betadine solution to the open wound.
  • Apply the dressing supplied in the manner already demonstrated to you.
  • Excess bleeding is not unusual in nail surgery. If this occurs apply extra pressure and elevate your foot as high as possible. If the bleeding continues call the practice.  If you have concerns that arise after clinic hours call your GP or nurse on call – 1300 60 60 24.
  • Any unfavourable reaction during the healing stage should be noted and contact should be made with the podiatrist and / or GP.

Post-operative instructions after first week?

  1. Bath your foot at least once daily. This includes a shower, bath, soaks, etc. Running water from the bathtub tap to fall on the toe is an excellent way to cleanse the area.
  2. You may gently clean the surgical site with a wash cloth, soap and water when bathing or showering.
  3. Gently massage the cuticle area of the toe to promote drainage of the surgical site. This will allow the surgical area to clear away excess fluid and promote healing.
  4. Apply a Band-Aid or island dressing strip during the day when wearing shoes. Leave it uncovered when bare foot or in open toed shoes around the house, at night or sleeping.
  5. As the area continues to dry up, you may leave it open and uncovered to promote healing.

What can I do to prevent infection?

  • Never wear hosiery or shoes without a dressing on the toe(s) until the wound has fully healed.
  • Changes of dressings more often than specified will not deter healing.
  • Rest the foot / feet as much as possible, raising your leg(s) above the level of your hip helps reduce swelling and any bleeding that may occur.
  • Some weeping from the surgical site post surgery is common.  If this exudate (weeping) is clear then that is normal.  If the weeping becomes discoloured or odorous this may be a sign of infection.  Call the clinic if you have concerns.

Follow-up appointments.

Included within the fee schedule are two post-surgical consultations.  There is no further fee for these consultations.  These consultations are important to attend in order for your practitioner to inspect the healing of the wound and assess for any signs of infection or other adverse outcomes.

Contact the clinic on (03) 9889 1078 for any further queries regarding post-surgery care.


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