Understanding Matrixectomy For An Ingrown Toenail

If you have an issue with ingrown toenails, then speak with your podiatrist about treatment. The professional may suggest the completion of a procedure called a matrixectomy. If you are unsure about what this procedure is, keep reading to learn about it and also what you need to do afterward to care for your foot properly. 

What Is A Matrixectomy?

A matriexectomy is a procedure used to treat ingrown toenails through the removal of a portion of the nail. Essentially, a sliver of the nail is surgically extracted or trimmed along the edge where it is embedding into the surrounding skin. Before this happens, the podiatrist will reduce blood flow to the affected toe with the use of a rubber band. The area is then numbed with an anesthetic and the ingrown nail is pried loose from underneath the skin. 

A scalpel is then used to cut through the nail all the way down to the edge or root. The nail sliver is loosened, removed, and discarded. And, to prevent the nail from growing back, the podiatrist places a chemical on the exposed nail matrix. The result is a slimmer looking nail, but this will completely resolve the ingrowing issue and prevent it from returning.

Once the treatment is completed, the exposed nail bed is bandaged carefully. This area of the toe may be susceptible to infections due to the exposed tissue, so you will need to leave the bandage on and replace it daily.

How Do You Perform Aftercare?

Once the surgical matrixectomy procedure is completed, you will be asked to complete aftercare at home. Your podiatrist will tell you about the healing plan and whether or not he wants you to soak the toe or use a topical medication directly on the surgical area. And, a dressing must be applied afterward and your podiatrist will give you the correct supplies for this. 

While you may be able to wear shoes immediately after the matrixectomy, you should be wearing ones that place little pressure on the toe portion of the foot. This prevents further injury to the area and it also allows for healing. You may want to purchase some wide toed shoes for this purpose before your podiatrist completes the procedure.

You should be inspecting your toe at least once a day for signs of infection. You should keep in mind though that the surgical area may look red from the chemical placed on the matrix. It may ooze as well, so you want to look for an increase in discharge and a growing area of redness.  

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