Electrodessication Matricectomy With Modified Hyfrecator Tip: Case Series and Literature Review

J Cutan Med Surg. 2021 Jul-Aug;25(4):418-423. doi: 10.1177/12034754211024124. Epub 2021 Jun 28.


Nail matricectomy is indicated in the management of painful onychodystrophies, including recalcitrant onychocryptosis, onychogryphosis, onychauxis, and refractory onychomycosis. Although many matricectomy methods have been described, with phenolization being the best studied, no one method has clearly emerged as superior. We present a series of 14 patients who underwent a total of 18 matricectomies with either phenolization or electrodessication (ED) in a private dermatology office, and describe a simple and effective variation of the ED technique using a modified hyfrecator tip. A video demonstration of this technique is included. We also describe ED matricectomy in the context of a review of the literature, ascertaining recurrence rates, complication rates, healing time, and patient satisfaction. The nuances of technique specifics (such as the use of adjunct methods and antibiotics), as well as outcome predictors and measurements have been highlighted. We found ED to be comparable to other forms of matricectomy, with the advantages of ease of use, minimal complications, and good satisfaction rates.

Keywords: electrocautery; electrodessication; nail matricectomy; onychocryptosis; onychodystrophy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Electrosurgery / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nail Diseases / surgery
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Phenols / therapeutic use
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Instruments
  • Wound Healing


  • Phenols