Real-Time Surgery: Removing an 'Extra' Toenail

Playing Extra Toenail? Find out How to Treat This Foot Issue!

One of The Doctor’s associate producers, Olivia, has an embarrassing issue with her toes. She says both her pinky toes have an extra nail so she hides her feet and, it also kind of hurts!

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Aesthetic foot surgeon Dr. Ali Sadrieh is in the exam room with Olivia and explains that she actually has split nails, not extra ones. He says this can be caused by shoes rubbing up on the side of the nail, by trauma to the toenail, or possibly the result of a poor pedicure. He explains that the split is at the root portion of the nail, so it will always grow irregularly.

To fix this issue, Dr. Sadrieh performs surgery on one of Oliva's numbed toes. He removes the bad portion of the nail with the associated root, called the matrix, and then stitches back up the skin around it. He warns viewers there is some blood if they happen to be squeamish!

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After removing the full nail and matrix Dr. Sadrieh says it won’t ever grow back! He shares Oliva’s recovery will only be about a week or two and it just requires the skin to heel. Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra asks if he is worried about infection and Dr. Sadrieh explains he sterilizes the foot before the procedure and then uses a silver dressing to prevent bacterial growth. Olivia will report back in a week to have her dressing changed. And soon after she can enjoy showing off those toes in sandals!