Podiatric Surgery (Foot Surgery)

Frequently Asked Questions



Who is responsible for my care?     


Your treatment/surgery will be led by a Consultant Podiatric Surgeon who is a Fellow of the Directorate of Podiatric Surgery (College of Podiatry). Podiatric Surgeons are fully registered health professionals specialising in the surgical and non-surgical management of problems of the foot and associated structures. All our Podiatrists are registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council).


The podiatric surgery team is made up of several different professionals all dedicated to the success of your surgery and the common titles are explained below.


A podiatrist has studied for three years to obtain a degree in podiatric medicine and registration with the Health Professions Council. Podiatrists are independent clinicians, qualified to diagnose and treat foot problems.  Podiatrists may specialise in particular areas of work e.g. the care of the diabetic patient or sports medicine. With the exception of nail surgery, podiatrists undertake the treatment of foot problems by non-invasive methods (until recently podiatrists were known as chiropodists).

Trainee in Podiatric Surgery

A podiatrist who has studied for a further two or three years to complete the initial sections of the Faculty of Surgery exams (or obtained an MSc degree) in the theory of podiatric surgery and is undertaking a formal surgical training programme under the supervision of a consultant Tutor.

Specialist Registrar in Podiatric Surgery

A podiatric surgeon who has gained his/her Podiatric Surgical Fellowship (qualification in the practice of podiatric surgery), and is working as part of a continued training programme towards completion of the three year post Fellowship specialist training period.

Podiatric Surgeon

A podiatric surgeon is a qualified specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of foot problems by both surgical and non-surgical methods. A podiatric surgeon has completed the training process and may have their own caseload (A podiatric surgeon is to feet, very much like a dentist is to teeth).


Consultant Podiatric Surgeon

After some years of practice within a Health Service Department of Podiatric Surgery, a podiatric surgeon may be appointed as a consultant i.e. the lead clinician appointed by an NHS Trust to provide a podiatric surgery service.

Can I eat and drink as usual before my operation?     


As your surgery is going to be undertaken using a local anaesthetic only, then you are able to eat and drink as normal.

What will I wear on my foot after my operation?     


We provide most patients with a special postoperative shoe after their foot surgery which will accommodate the bandages.

Will I be in a cast after surgery or have to use crutches?    


This will depend on the type of operation you have had.  You will be told beforehand if crutches or a cast are required following your operation. You will be shown how to safely use crutches if these are necessary.


What do I need to do before I come in for my operation?

  • Check your appointment letter to make sure you know what time to arrive and where to go

  • Cut your toenails and clean under the nails well the day before surgery

  • Remove all nail polish

  • Remove jewellery except for your wedding ring (if you have one)

  • Wear loose clothing as a large dressing will be applied after the operation

  • You may bring along a personal stereo player with headphones.

  • Please make sure you arrange transport to and from the hospital / day-surgery unit.

  • You must have a fit and responsible adult to stay with for at least the first night of your operation.

  • You should arrange the recommended period of rest for after your operation as advised by your podiatric surgeon.

  • If you are under 16yrs of age you must have a parent or legal guardian accompany you to all your appointments.

  • If you will need to take your regular pre-prescribed medication during your time in the department, or may have need of an inhaler or angina spray or EpiPen; please remember to bring these with you.

  • If you have been advised to arrange any tablets / medicines by your podiatric surgeon remember to obtain these prior to your operation. If you have been asked to obtain these from your own doctor please arrange this well in advance.

  • Take any prescribed medicines as normal unless you have been told differently. Read any additional information you may be given regarding your admission for surgery.


What will happen on the day of my operation?             


  • You will be asked to come in to the clinic on the day of your operation.

  • When you arrive you will be welcomed by one of the team who will escort you to the admission area where you may be asked to change into a theatre gown.  

  • The copy of your consent form, held as part of your patient record, will be checked by one of the podiatric surgery team and the proposed operation will be fully re-explained.  This is an opportunity for you to ask further questions.

  • You may be asked further questions about your general health and have your blood pressure checked,

  • The operation site will be clearly marked.

  • If you are going to be provided with crutches after your surgery, you will be shown how to use these either before or after your operation.

  • If you are having a local anaesthetic this will be given before you are taken into theatre. 

  • Your local anaesthetic will be checked for effectiveness by one of the team before you are taken into theatre.

  • When the team is ready, you will be conveyed into the operating theatre for your surgery.

  • Your foot will be cleaned with surgical scrub and sterile sheets will be placed around the area.

  • Your local anaesthetic will be re-checked to make sure the appropriate area of foot is numb.

  • A tourniquet (like a blood pressure cuff around your ankle) may be used during your operation. This may be uncomfortable for a short while until you ankle tissues adjust, but most people find it quite acceptable after about 5 minutes.

  • After your operation your foot will be bandaged up carefully and you will be transferred back to a recovery area.


What will happen after I have my operation?

  • You will be transferred from theatre to a recovery area.

  • One of the team will make sure that you are comfortable and check your dressing.

  • It is usual for you to be monitored for about 15-30 minutes after your operation, this varies depending on what operation(s) you have had done and the type of anaesthetic. You may be offered a drink and something to eat.

  • A special post-operative shoe or boot (or sometimes a cast) will be applied to the foot.

  • One of the team will check you are pain-free, read through and explain your post-operative instructions, including any contact numbers to use in case of a problem. You will be discharged home with your escort (who must be a responsible adult).



Can I go home the same day?             


All surgery at Holywell Healthcare is done as a “day case operation” which means that are able to go home the same day.  You will need a fit and responsible adult to stay with you for at least the first night after your operation.                                           


What happens if I have a problem after my operation?                                                                                                                                                                           

You will be provided with an advice sheet to take home after your operation detailing your post-operative instructions, and useful information including any contact numbers to use in case of a problem.                                                    


Will I need to take time off work after my surgery?                                                                                                                                                                                             

You are advised to rest after surgery.  The amount of time required varies according to the type of operation and your own circumstances.  Please refer to the specific operation information leaflet provided by your podiatric surgeon or ask one of the clinic staff.                                                                                                                                         

Will I have to come back to hospital / clinic after my surgery?             


With most surgeries you will be given a post-operative appointment and we will inform you of the date and time on the day of your surgery.