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Cosmetic Toe Surgery: It's Not All About Vanity

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 Cosmetic surgery is often thought of as a surgery for the vain. However, when it comes to cosmetic foot surgery, it's not all about vanity.

It's true some people have cosmetic surgery to make the feet appear smaller or to add collagen to their heels. But for some, cosmetic toe surgery or foot surgery is about alleviating pain and discomfort.

Foot Deformities and Problems

It's not uncommon for people to develop deformities on the feet due to corns, calluses, bunions, hammertoes, or other issues. These deformities not only cause problems with foot appearance but can also cause pain and discomfort.

A reconstructive procedure that helps alleviate pain and improve appearance can greatly improve a person's quality of life.


Corns cause an unsightly appearance, but can also be painful. Sometimes corns create such a problem that certain shoes are too painful to wear. This limits the type of shoes a person can comfortably wear. For this reason, removing corns is a common procedure.

During surgery, the corn is removed using a minimal incision and the toes generally heal within two weeks. Surgery for corns is an in-office procedure that requires a local anesthetic. Most patients can bear weight on the foot fairly soon after surgery.

Hammer Toes

Hammertoes are an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe that causes it to look like a hammer. The condition often affects the second, third, or fourth toe. Joint resection is often performed to fix a hammertoe. The physician cuts ligaments and tendons to help straighten it.

The procedure may also require that a portion of bone be removed. If this is the case, the surgeon inserts temporary pins to keep the toe in place while healing. Swelling after surgery can last for a while, and special shoes are often required during the healing process.

A few weeks following surgery, the physician removes pins and stitches. Exercises are recommended to help strengthen the toe and foot muscles and speed the healing process.


Bunions are also common foot issues that cause both pain and deformity. A bunion is a bump on the first toe joint. It protrudes from the toe and pushes on other toes causing crowding, rubbing, and discoloring of neighboring toes.

The pain can be quite unbearable. There are two common methods used for bunion correction: fusion and osteotomy.

During surgery, an incision is made at the big toe joint so that the surgeon can realign it to a normal position. Your doctor may advise staying off the foot for a few days, but full recovery can take several weeks to a few months.

Cosmetic toe surgery is often needed for correction as well as for appearance. Before deciding if surgery is right for you, discuss these options with a podiatrist and understand the risks and benefits involved.

For more information about cosmetic toe surgery, contact a podiatrist.