Nail surgery 101

February 19, 2005

Many dermatologists do not feel comfortable doing nail surgery. Those who know the ins and outs of basic nail surgery, however, often find that the procedures are easily done in the office and result in high patient satisfaction, according to Elizabeth M. Billingsley, M.D., Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Many dermatologists do not feel comfortable doing nail surgery. Those who know the ins and outs of basic nail surgery, however, often find that the procedures are easily done in the office and result in high patient satisfaction, according to Elizabeth M. Billingsley, M.D., Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

A handful of tips help dermatologists through many nail-related procedures, including biopsying a pigmented streak, removing a digital mucus cyst or glomus tumor, as well as performing nail matrix biopsies, nail avulsions, and chemical matricectomies.

Patients are, generally, most apprehensive about getting anesthesia before nail surgery.

"If you can get the patient through the actual anesthetizing of the digit, the rest of the procedure should go fairly well," Dr. Billingsley says.