Corn removal surgery refers to a procedure in which a corn, which is a dense mass of dead skin, is surgically removed from the toe. Although surgery is an effective option, it is usually only considered when more conservative and less invasive techniques have been attempted and have failed or a more invasive intervention is required, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Corns are caused when dead skin is repeatedly compressed and forms a hard mass, and they usually form below the knuckle of the toe. While corns are unsightly at the surface, a mass of inflamed tissue, or bursa, often forms underneath it. According to Cosmetic Foot Surgery UK, this is what causes the corn to be painful in addition to being ugly. Before surgery is considered, patients are often instructed to try pumice stones, astringents or special pads to alleviate the condition. In cases in which surgery is necessary, patients often have to undergo presurgical tests and refrain from taking certain medications, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatories, immediately before surgery. The surgery itself is known as a skin plasty and consists of the removal of the corn and the bursa underneath.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, depending on the physician, patient and circumstance, the patient may be given anything from full general anesthesia to a local. In any case, patients are instructed to have someone available to drive them home from the place of surgery. For more complex cases, the surgery may also involve realigning certain segments of the bone to limit the chances of recurrence. After surgery, the Cleveland Clinic states that patients may experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the toe. The customary recovery time ranges from six weeks to three months.