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Nail avulsion is the most common surgical procedure performed on the nail unit. It is the excision of the body of the nail plate from its primary attachments, the nail bed ventrally and the PNF dorsally. Avulsion of the nail plate may be initially performed to allow full exposure of the nail matrix before chemical or surgical matricectomy. Other indications for performing nail avulsion are to treat recalcitrant onychocryptosis; to excise tumors of the nail unit; to allow full examination and exploration of the nail bed, the nail matrix, the PNF and the LNF, and the nail grooves for the presence of pathology; or to use as a preliminary step before performing biopsy on the nail bed and the nail matrix.

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