Nail surgery: an assessment of indications and outcome.
de Berker DA, Dahl MG, Comaish JS, Lawrence CM
To examine the merits of nail surgery, we studied the surgical investigation, treatment and the outcome of 78 consecutive patients with nail pathology in the context of their complaint. A diagnosis was reached in 74/78 patients. Thirty-six out of seventy-eight (46%) of patients had tumours, 17/78 (22%) had a dermatosis, 21/78 (27%) had infection or trauma and 4/78 (5%) remained undiagnosed. The presenting complaint was treated with substantial or complete resolution in 66/78 (87%) patients. Ninety-seven per cent (35/36) of those with tumours were cured, including all 5/36 with malignant and dysplastic tumours. Post-operative splitting of the nail was seen in only one patient due to secondary infection of a longitudinal nail unit biopsy. Information from this study demonstrates the diagnostic and therapeutic value of nail surgery within dermatology.