Gransnet forums


Why do I have to do this?

(31 Posts)
petra Thu 31-May-18 13:38:42

Next Tuesday I have to have a medical procedure for which I will be sedated.
The blurb states that I must remove nail varnish. I only had my nails done last Friday sad
Would it be unreasonable for me to wear surgical gloves?
After all, the Dr will be wearing them while doing a very intimate procedure, but my hands will be just laying on the bed, nowhere near the intimate area grin

Jane10 Thu 31-May-18 13:41:55

To facilitate the use of an oxygen saturation level meter which clips on your finger end.

SpanielNanny Thu 31-May-18 13:43:15

Hi petra
my understanding is that it’s incase you’re oxygen levels drop during surgery. Your finger nails will turn blue, letting the medical know something is wrong. They won’t be able to see see if you’ve got your nails painted.

Good luck with your op flowers

annsixty Thu 31-May-18 13:50:44

That is my understanding as well. A small sacrifice to enable you to be well looked after.
Good luck with it all.

Jane10 Thu 31-May-18 14:01:20

DD had to have an emergency C section the day after she had a set of gel nails done. The nurse stripped off the varnish with a scalpel!

mcem Thu 31-May-18 14:08:48


Welshwife Thu 31-May-18 14:26:33

That is very interesting - had no idea about nail varnish etc. As it happens I never wear it on my finger nails - makes them feel uncomfortably hot but almost always on my toe nails in the summer.

Farmor15 Thu 31-May-18 14:34:24

That reminds me- usually do my toenails for summer - I’d forgotten as the weather was so cold for so long - now I think it’s warmed up enough to bare my feet. ?. Interesting about the fingernails and oxygen meter.

petra Thu 31-May-18 14:49:45

I've just phoned the clinic and she said: "oh no, you don't have to worry about that, we will put the clip on your toes"

harrigran Thu 31-May-18 14:54:19

It is for your own good, if your oxygen saturation falls they can see immediately.
Health comes before vanity, best remove nail varnish yourself, we used to just use acetone on the ward when people hadn't taken it off.

agnurse Thu 31-May-18 17:28:58

Yup. Usually you're not allowed to wear any makeup (including nail varnish), dentures, hearing aids, glasses, or jewelry. The nurses and doctors will need to be able to see your natural skin colour to see if you're turning blue or pale (could be signs of a problem) and they need to be able to monitor your oxygen levels.

Jalima1108 Thu 31-May-18 17:36:59

Yes, it is for medical reasons - they can tell from your fingernails if you are having a problem.

I'm not sure that you would need to take the varnish off your toenails - just finger nails should be enough.

Jalima1108 Thu 31-May-18 17:38:10

Would it be unreasonable for me to wear surgical gloves?
Yes - even worse! grin

MawBroon Thu 31-May-18 17:46:41

Normal procedure Petra toenails too.

Lisalou Thu 31-May-18 20:24:03

Petra, I hate to say this, but you may find that when you get to hospital, they may say something along the lines of "I have no idea who said we would use your toes, but they are wrong" and remove the varnish themselves. Doctors and nurses usually have a very "no nonsense" approach to such things, and to be honest, I think it is rightly so.

SueDonim Thu 31-May-18 20:57:32

My student medic dd says that medical staff are not allowed to wear nail polish because it harbours germs at the edges. I'm not sure if the same applies to patients. Nail polish also used to be considered a fire risk, though that may not be the case nowadays.

I had had gel nails applied to fingers and toes for a holiday just hours before I fell and broke my leg, which meant I spent ten days in hospital instead of in the Caribbean! I had an operation to pin my leg but the nail polish had to stay as there was no way to remove it. Everyone on the staff knew who I was as soon as they saw the fancy nails - 'ooh, you're the lady who was going on holiday!'

I'd had my hair done that day, too, so was very fancy for a stay in hospital, although I'd also had on my older underwear, having packed my decent stuff - oh the shame of having to have your greying knickers cut off you! grin

Bluegal Thu 31-May-18 21:57:50

It’s surprising what can show up in nails. Fingers and toes. Its not medical staff being pedantic. Lots of problems can display themselves in the nails. Who would think eh? But is a fact.

Bellanonna Thu 31-May-18 22:29:39

SueDonim. ?
What bad luck for you. I hope you got away later

SueDonim Fri 01-Jun-18 00:39:49

We did, Bellanonna, six months later. Luckily our travel insurance paid up every last penny so we could rebook.

agnurse Fri 01-Jun-18 01:08:01


Absolutely! Some examples:
-red streaks, called "splinter hemorrhages", can signal endocarditis, a serious heart inflammation
-blue nailbeds can indicate low oxygen
-pitting and crumbling is a sign of psoriasis
-spoon-shaped nails indicate anemia
-horizontal lines can be a sign of poisoning

This is why it's very important that your nails be visible.

Chipped nail varnish and false nails (gel or acrylic, for example) can harbour bacteria. So can jewelry, which is why health care providers generally aren't allowed jewelry apart from a flat wedding band.

Deedaa Fri 01-Jun-18 20:34:51

One of my friends was horrified when she had to remove the varnish on her toe nails before she was sterilised. The anaesthetist told her he had to be able to tell at a glance if there was any problem with her circulation.

MawBroon Fri 01-Jun-18 21:18:58

Exactly my reaction for my C section
I was so proud of my toenails too- bloo*y miracle I had been able to reach my toes at all!

agnurse Fri 01-Jun-18 21:31:13

If it's abdominal or leg surgery it's ESPECIALLY important that we be able to see your toenails. We need to be able to tell if the circulation in your legs is compromised. (Abdominal surgery requires this because the aorta splits in two to create the arteries that go down your legs.)

annep Sat 02-Jun-18 07:46:19

Petra it's a nuisance but you can get them done again. To be honest I wouldn't even have bothered them with a phone call. ? hope it goes well.

silverlining48 Sat 02-Jun-18 07:56:30

In the information for my coming investigation it said to trove nail polish. I think it’s been said early on that nails are an indicator of possible problems during a procedure.
Hope it all goes well. Mine is on the 11 th so must remember to have my coming birthday manicure after that date,