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Cutting Open Webbed Toes (Page 1)

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Hi to all

i was wondering if anyone here has any expereience with webbed toes. I have two toes on each foot stuck together.

I was told to go see a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon inserts small balloons or something between the toes to stretch the skin and then the toes gets separated in a week or so, but its a costly surgery.

I was wondering if it could be done by a local doctor, you know, little anasthetic, cut open, bandage, walk around with pain for a few days and so on until its healed.

Could someone tell me more about this, recommendations and so on please

regards
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First Helper MegGriffin
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replied January 18th, 2007
Advanced Support Team (online)
Re: Cutting Open Webbed Toes
gfishy wrote:
hi to all

i was wondering if anyone here has any expereience with webbed toes. I have two toes on each foot stuck together.


I was told to go see a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon inserts small balloons or something between the toes to stretch the skin and then the toes gets separated in a week or so, but its a costly surgery.


I was wondering if it could be done by a local doctor, you know, little anasthetic, cut open, bandage, walk around with pain for a few days and so on until its healed.

Could someone tell me more about this, recommendations and so on please

regards


the complexity of the surgery depends on whether the condition involves just skin, or whether other soft tissues and bones are involved.
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replied March 11th, 2012
operation
i just had mine done today. the surgeon started with a skin graph from behind my left ear (used local anesth.) then numbed the toe are using local anesth. which is kinda painful ill be honest, needles in ur foot.. ouch. anyway he started cutting and about 2 hours later they finished up with wrapping my feet in gaughs and ace rap.. the doc said minimal walking for the first week only up and down to bathroom and keep the feet elevated.. not sure about costs because my insurance is covering it.. i have Tricare in case ur curious and am also military.. not sure if other insurances would cover it.. but the military considers it a psycological distress.. anyway so far no pain but its only the first day im sure it will set in.. doc said first three days are the worst and then starts getting better.. and said 4-8 weeks total recovery time..
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replied March 11th, 2012
operation
i just had mine done today. the surgeon started with a skin graph from behind my left ear (used local anesth.) then numbed the toe are using local anesth. which is kinda painful ill be honest, needles in ur foot.. ouch. anyway he started cutting and about 2 hours later they finished up with wrapping my feet in gaughs and ace rap.. the doc said minimal walking for the first week only up and down to bathroom and keep the feet elevated.. not sure about costs because my insurance is covering it.. i have Tricare in case ur curious and am also military.. not sure if other insurances would cover it.. but the military considers it a psycological distress.. anyway so far no pain but its only the first day im sure it will set in.. doc said first three days are the worst and then starts getting better.. and said 4-8 weeks total recovery time..

Its been 4 days since the operation and the pain has eased up and feels more like pressure. i can almost walk to the bathroom.. but for now ill stick with crawling.. Smile ive stopped taking my pain pills since the pain is now a 1 or 2 on a scale of 1-10.. umm any way if anyone has any questions feel free to post..
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replied June 23rd, 2012
Re: No need for operation to remove webbing between toes.
I have webbing between my second and third toes...as have many other members of my family. My advice is not to have the operation. I am over 40 now and have NEVER had anyone make a negative comment about my webbed toes. Many folks find them interesting, most don't even notice even after having spent many hours around me when I was barefooted.
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replied July 3rd, 2008
webbed toes
I have actually had surgery for two webbed toes on each foot, 2nd ad 3rd ones. They were joined up to just under the nail on my left and a little below that on my right. It's a very simple surgery and yes, plastic surgeons or a plastic surgeon who works on hands (micro surgery) is often better qualified. They are specialized in dealing with the tiny vessels and nerves. It's a surgery which last a couple hours and I hear some podiatric surgeons use balloons etc but my doc just took skin from my groin area and grafted it for my left foot since it was webbed higher. Although there is no actual webbing per say since you couldn't actually pull the toes apart and see a web like a frog or duck would have. I was so ashamed of this growing up that I never told a soul and the ones who found out by pulling my socks off at slumber parties and finding out by surprise often had some pretty harsh reactions to it. None of which I was cool with. Plus I've always been considered an attractive person so it was always a shock to people i dated who found out. I hated it although some people were seemingly ok with it but still I couldn't stand it. I had been to numerous doctors all of which said it wasn't worht it and the scarring would be ten times worse. NOT I have very faint scarring if any at all and only between my toes. It's so worth it if you felt embarrassed and ashamed like I did. However, my right two toes weren't joined as high and there was more skin to work with so she didn't graft that side so as a result she couldn't cut as far down but it's really not noticeable and I kind of like having partially webbed toes on that foot. I can live with that lol. I just didn't like them being so different on each foot and webbed so high on the left. My little sister actually cut hers herself and because there isn't anything but soft tissue between them they healed perfectly fine. She just took Keflex antibiotics in case of infection and wrapped her toes individually with breathable guaze and cleaned them daily. She just iced her toes numb and cut straight down to where she felt comfortable. The ice constricted the bleeding and she just elevated them above her heart. It's kind of like tongue splitting in the bodymod world. Required no stitches and was very clean and easy to do. I watched her do this and quite to my surprise they look great! Of course no doctor in their right mind would ever condone bodymods let alone webbed toe cutting but yes it can be done. She used a scalpel on one foot and an electric carving knife on the other but she first took one of the two blades off for a single cut. If you attempt this be sure you try a smaller cut first and once that heals and you can always go down further in the future. She didn't go all the way down but she did go down most of the way but you can still tell her toes are slightly joined but certainly not like before and there isn't any scarring at all. It heals quite fast too. I often wish I had gone this route and saved myself alot of money and grief going from doctor to doctor (ten total) before finding one who would do this. Plus, it's not like it's an amputation in which there are bone and major vessel issues to worry about. And she has less scaring then me!! Not fair lol! If you have any questions regarding this pm me.
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Users who thank zzchillnzz for this post: amanda1988 

replied April 4th, 2011
How long before you could walk after having the surgery?
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replied November 4th, 2011
webbed feet
hey i have the same problem, ur sister how dis she know it was safe to do this? Like how she now it didnt include large amounts of bone or muclse? and when she cut down the middle wouldnt that look just like a slit, leaving a bit of loose skin on both sides of the toe?
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replied November 4th, 2011
Skin graph after V-shaped cut of 2nd/3rd toes
Chris 890,

You do not have to worry about bone or muscle. The webbing between the toes consists entirely of extra cartilage. I was wide awake when my toes were cut with a scapel via a podiatrist 17 yrs. ago. He cut the skin in a V-shape pattern between the 2nd and 3rd toes of each foot. The inside lining only (between the 2nd and 3rd toes) was raw. He cut a small portion of skin from the upper portion of each of my ankles and lined the raw areas, stitching the skin to the areas. The skin graph took well without any complications.

Summerain
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replied October 12th, 2009
webbed toes
how much would it cost 2 get my 2 toes on both feet split open
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replied August 10th, 2010
web toes also
A friend I work with has webbed toes and it don't bother her at all, she wears sandals, she don't care one way or the other, My adopted daughter has both of her feet 2nd and 3rd toes webbed also, I work for a Pediatrician and he told me not to bother with surgery, that it's too painful and if she don't mind it's ok. I will let her decide when she gets older, I think it makes her that more special to me.
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replied September 23rd, 2010
recent surgery
My 2nd and third toe was webbed and i recently got them split (september 8th) by my podiatrist. I have a very high tolerance for pain and it is very PAINFUL. I still have to use crutches because of the surgical pin she had to put in it to keep it straight. i can not tell the results as of yet but my toes are really swolen and purple at the base. If i could go back in time i would have never got it done. It looks as if the scaring is going to be bad and the toes look wierd to me but maybe im paranoid. Oh and i still risk a chance of losing my toes how ironic is that!! I was UNAWARE of how risky this procedure was and would take it back in a heartbeat!!!
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replied April 4th, 2011
How do your toes look now? Are you happy with your decision?
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replied January 9th, 2011
doesnt it bother anyone when you show others your conjoined toe people are astonished and always seem to have a discusted look on there face, not even my closest friend knows about it anymore as i keep it well hidden to all extent i think i would go through the pain as it would be a great relief to me in my own mind, because of my deformity i was teased throughout primary school and most of my highschool years until i moved away and never told another soul again, hasnt anyone else had the same problems as these?
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replied April 4th, 2011
Yes, I have and so I am getting the surgery in a few hours.
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replied June 24th, 2012
I have webbed toes. I advise against surgery.
I am really sorry to hear about the teasing bullying you suffered. I was a teacher for many years... kids who want to be bullies will pick on ANYTHING. The problem is with the bullies and not with your toes. My own toes are the same and I never suffered any such teasing. My advice is...don't consider the webbing between your toes a deformity. It is a harmless and interesting human variation. It is no more a deformity than any other unusual appearance, such as green eyes. Make friends with decent people who will judge you by your character, what is in your heart. There are many such good people in the world. If you can, try to feel proud of your unusual toes. I would advise against surgery since it is not without risk and in my experience completely unnecessary. I am 42 and having webbed toes has never adversely affected my quality of life. Most people don't notice even though they spend several hours a week barefoot with me while we are practicing martial arts. If they happen to notice, or I point them out (since I am proud of them) people are sometimes surprised, but never make cruel negative comments.
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replied February 15th, 2011
Webbed Toes
My second and third toes are also joined halway up. I have always been ashamed/embarrassed by them but my mother always used to say 'you can walk can't you?'. Then I think of all the people with heaps more problems than just a couple of toes stuck halfway up and feel ashamed. I have just started wearing thongs again and feel that if people don't like me the way I am that I don't need them in my life. I also find most people don't even notice or care. Also I am now aware this is a fairly common thing as 1 in 2000 people have webbed toes.
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replied May 22nd, 2011
i got a surgery 2 weeks ago.. my 2nd and 3rd were attached together...
unfortunately, the tip of my 3rd toe became black and no blood was reaching it so the doctor was forced to remove the stitches in it the next day.
now this toe is skinless and i lost feeling in it (i just feel it at its bottom)
does anyone know about its consequences?? what might happen?
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replied August 21st, 2011
Hi, I had my first surgery (left foot) in June of 1999 and mine did the same as yours, it took a VERY long time to heal, I didnt lose my 3rd toe but I did lose my toenail and I cant feel it. Now, I just had my Right foot operated on on July 11th 2011. I had to have grafts on each toe, my 2nd toe busted open (graft didnt take) so its having to gradualy close up and heal on its own. I had some discoloration on my 3rd toe but that has since fell off and has new pink skin underneath. I really cant tell you as to what will happen to your toe, but I do know from experience that it is a very long, complaicated and painful process. I wish you the best of luck. Heal well!!
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replied June 25th, 2011
Does anyone know where I can get this surgery done in NYC? I really want to get this procedure done!
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replied August 21st, 2011
Depending on your insurance, any qualified Podiatrist, Orthopedic Surgeon can do it, and insurance will cover, its a Genetic Deformity. Good Luck!
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replied October 15th, 2011
Have you looked into any teaching hospitals? Ranked very high in quality: Presbyterian Hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center, or NYU Medical Center. Teaching hospitals are often grant funded, with many more technological perks to offer. The physicians publish articles that cover the grant programs as well. I would suggest going straight to the top...asking the Medical Director of each of at least three hospitals. You're fortunate to be in area of many options! Best of luck to you.
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replied October 13th, 2011
webbed toes
I am 64 and female and have the same problem, both feet with right foot the worst case, all the way up to the nail. Also, the left foot has started to fill in. It used to be about 1/3 filled in. My doctors always said, you have a man..leave it alone. It will grow back anyway. Has anyone's grown back? This has embarassed me, my whole life. I live in Tucson AZ and sandals are necessary in the summer. I cannot go to shopping without someone rudely staring constantly. I lost my job and do not have insurance. If I ever get money, I am getting surgery no matter how old. What is the cost?
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replied October 15th, 2011
Syndactyly of 4 toes in 1994: surgery... webbing never grew back
Desert Dweller 64,

I'm a 39 yr. old female, had surgery to cut 2nd and 3rd toes of both of my webbed feet 17 yrs. ago by a podiatrist. My left toe had been webbed almost the entire length and my right toe was webbed 1/2 way. Both my mother and sister were also born with identical webbing of the 2nd and 3rd toes. The webbing never bothered my mother a bit and she wore her sandals with pride. Each person is different. The webbing of my sister's toes on one foot grew out normally on its own, the other foot remains the same, webbing wise, to this day. I don't regret having the surgery at all and the webbing has not grown back in 17 years/I've never had any medical issues relating to it either before or after the fact. I haven't lost any feeling in my toes or feet and they healed extremely well post surgery. The podiatrist numbed my foot and his nurse attached an IV drip. I was wide awake and actually sat up on a exam table and watched the entire procedure with only a couple of shots of novocain injected into each foot. Again, I was only 22 at the time. I would look for a better option nowadays. He'd operated on one foot at a time, 3 wks. apart. I didn't have any complications whatsoever, no toenail or skin loss, only minor swelling which is normal during the healing process. I was lucky enough to have medical leave from work, as I needed crutches during the entire 6 wks. I know this sounds primitive as compared to what is offered today, but the podiatrist actually used an exacto knife, cutting a V shaped section of skin from the webbed areas between the 2nd and 3rd toes. Then, he took one small skin graft from the front upper portion of my ankles to line the insides of my freshly cut toes. He stitched the grafts perfectly. I had to moisturize my toes with steroidal creme the entire time. I've only had one person ask about the slightly visible scarring around my front of my ankles since 1994. As it turns out, his girlfriend also had webbed feet. Technology has come a long way since then. Go for it, but only after researching the best option for you. My insurance covered it at the time so I only had to pay about $300 for x-rays & supplies. I would suggest looking into a medical teaching school that may be doing research in areas of podiatry. A medical team may be willing to sponsor your surgery at a teaching hospital with one of their grant programs. Remember: anything is possible...at ANY age. I'm so sorry you've lost your insurance, but there are other avenues in reaching your goal of surgery. Keep in mind that when people stare, its more about their own personal insecurities. I'm sure your feet are just as beautiful as the next gal's. Throw the technical term by way of those who stare in the future, 'syndactyly'. When people are educated about things they don't understand, they aren't as quick to stare/make negative comments later on. Wishing you and anyone else out there the best of luck in your future surgeries.
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replied September 2nd, 2012
Hi, i also have webbed toes up to the bottom of my toe nails on my 2nd and 3rd toes on my right foot. i would like to know where do u live. Im a 28 yr old female and would love to where sandals but cant because of the webbed toes. I have always thought about having surgery and now i feel like im ready to get it done. Only 1 person other than my immediate family knows about my webbed toes. its hard growing up not being like "normal" kids. im looking for a really good surgeon could you help...
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replied February 10th, 2012
how much would it cost too get it done in the uk / south west??
i just want too be able to wear sandles this summer!
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replied March 7th, 2012
webbed toe operation
i just had mine done today. the surgeon started with a skin graph from behind my left ear (used local anesth.) then numbed the toe are using local anesth. which is kinda painful ill be honest, needles in ur foot.. ouch. anyway he started cutting and about 2 hours later they finished up with wrapping my feet in gaughs and ace rap.. the doc said minimal walking for the first week only up and down to bathroom and keep the feet elevated.. not sure about costs because my insurance is covering it.. i have Tricare in case ur curious and am also military.. not sure if other insurances would cover it.. but the military considers it a psycological distress.. anyway so far no pain but its only the first day im sure it will set in.. doc said first three days are the worst and then starts getting better.. and said 4-8 weeks total recovery time..
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replied June 2nd, 2012
twin toes
I also had this surgery and although it looks normal I don't have any feeling between my toes which is very awkward. For myself if wasn't just a cosmetic issue rather a psychological one since I couldn't stand that I was unable to feel between them like my other toes. Had both 2nd and 3rd toes on each foot been joined the same I likely wouldn't have cared, who's to say. So yea, for me it was a real bummer now having scars that took yrs to heal and zero feeling between then. I honestly wish I had just left them alone. And as strange as it sounds I'm drawn to others with twin toes. Go figure but yea,x the novelty of "normal" toes wore off quickly. I may actually have the procedure reversed cuz twin it sux feeling like toes are asleep AND I've unknowingly cut them pretty bad as a result of lack of sensation. Seriously uncool. Oh well. Oh yea, I also had a friend cut hers herself but just partially down and they look better than mine and I've only had one person ever ask what my scars were from. Just be careful but yea, it's her own little bodymod because she can now wear a toe ring too. Awesome! This procedure is WAY overrated.
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replied June 2nd, 2012
I also had this surgery and although it looks normal I don't have any feeling between my toes which is very awkward. For myself if wasn't just a cosmetic issue rather a psychological one since I couldn't stand that I was unable to feel between them like my other toes. Had both 2nd and 3rd toes on each foot been joined the same I likely wouldn't have cared, who's to say. So yea, for me it was a real bummer now having scars that took yrs to heal and zero feeling between then. I honestly wish I had just left them alone. And as strange as it sounds I'm drawn to others with twin toes. Go figure but yea,x the novelty of "normal" toes wore off quickly. I may actually have the procedure reversed cuz twin it sux feeling like toes are asleep AND I've unknowingly cut them pretty bad as a result of lack of sensation. Seriously uncool. Oh well. Oh yea, I also had a friend cut hers herself but just partially down and they look better than mine and I've only had one person ever ask what my scars were from. Just be careful but yea, it's her own little bodymod because she can now wear a toe ring too. Awesome! This procedure is WAY overrated.
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replied September 27th, 2012
I have written a blog about my experience so far to help others (i'm 3 weeks post op) as when I was trying to decide, I couldn't find many people going into detail about it. Check it out if you think it could help you.
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replied April 9th, 2013
I want to know approx. how much it costs to split 2 webbed toes?? Are we talking $5,000.00, more than that or less than that?? I have been embarrassed my whole life. I am 30 years old. I really wanna wear flip flops aspecially in the summer but I am too embarrassed, I want this fixed!
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replied April 24th, 2013
Getting them split soon
I'm 27 years old living in Canada. I'm getting the left foot done on may 13th and the right foot done one June 3rd. I've too been dying to have this surgery done since I can remember. No one besides family knows. I have lots of friends and have somehow avoided ever having to take my socks off, it always made for awkward situations when people asked me why I didn't want to go swimming or whatever. People have just assumed I'm scared of water. Anyway, I have to pay for this procedure on my own and it's going to cost 800 for each foot. Not bad because I was worried it would be closer to 5 thousand. My podiatrist said I won't need a skin graft and has just asked me to massage my skin daily to stretch it out. I can't wait to have toes like everyone else so Im not judged on something so superficial. I know people shouldn't be but most are especially in this world we live in. My major concern is the scarring that may exist and how bad it will be... Not sure what excuse to give people if they ask lol
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replied July 2nd, 2013
Not a lot of people really go into detail about how the actual surgery went or how it was to recover, so I'm writing a post focusing on those aspects based on my experience with the surgery. I had this surgery done when I was 18, I had webbing on the 2nd and 3rd toes going halfway - to the knuckle basically.

The surgeon did not take a skin graft, instead he stretched the existing skin over the open part and stitched it up. He also made little cuts on my toes (called "pie-crusting") to help it stretch over so he could stitch the skin together.

He started by freezing my toes with a local anesthetic. Then, with a scalpel he just separated the toes. That part went fairly quickly, like less than 5 mins. The long part was the stitching up after. All in all, it took a little over an hour to have both feet done. The doctor told me that I should really restrict any walking and to keep my feet elevated for the first three days - he said those were the most critical. I walked out of the operating room and my dad drove me home.

The aftercare was not what I expected. Because the surgeon pulled the skin so tight, the next morning I woke up and one of my toes was purple from lack of circulation. I went back to the hospital and spent all day there. The surgeon came and made regular visits during the day, taking out a few stitches each time and seeing if it made a difference. He said that if I hadn't gone in, my toe would have required an amputation.

After going back home, I kept my feet elevated as much as possible for the next week. The toe got its circulation back. All the toes were swollen and blistering but that was because they were healing. during that first week, my feet were quite painful and felt like they were burning since the skin was stretching to cover the wound. Walking to go to the bathroom was painful and I could only walk on the outside of my feet. After about day 5 it got better quite quickly, first the pain started to go away and then walking became easier. Sleeping also became easier because I could lye down in more positions.

To shower I had these knee high rubber boots that had a pump to suck the air out so they would stick on my skin, so water wouldn't get in.

During week two it continued to get better, walking became even easier and the pain was practically all gone. the bandages were still on so showering still involved the boots. The outer layer of stitches were removed but the other ones were left in because they were dissolving stitches.

During week three almost everything was back to normal. Walking was pretty much fine and sleeping was fine. Showering still meant wearing the boots. the rest of the bandages came off after week 3 and then it was time to show off the new toes!!
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