Toenail Surgery – Removal of Ingrown Toenails

Toenail surgery is carried out for two main reasons – pain relief from ingrown toenails and severe fungal nail that is beyond treatment. However, other methods of treatment will be investigated with each patient prior to the decision of nail surgery being made.

What causes an ingrown toe nail?

Ingrown toenails often occur when the nail edge cuts into the skin. As the nail continues growing, infection can then set in so making an extremely painful ingrown toe nail. Some people are more prone to them than others

What is involved in toenail surgery?

Toenail surgery involves gentle, pain free removal of the nail or corners of the nail plate with chemical avulsion of the nail matrix (where the nail grows from) to provide a permanent solution. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic, which involves a small injection into your toe. Although pain is a subjective thing, most people find the injection to be virtually pain free.

For most people they can resume normal activity after a week. You should not drive straight after the operation, so we recommend you arrange a lift or taxi home.

For most people, tightness may be experienced but the level of pain is usually of a level where just paracetamol is required, if any.

The nail in most cases will not regrow (95%). This is intended as a permanent solution.

For most people only partial removal is required but the podiatrist assesses this on a case by case basis.

In very rare cases patients can have an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic. Phenol flare can also happen but this will heal naturally. Infection can occur but chances of this can be minimised by taking proper care following the procedure. We recommend you bathe your foot in a salt bath daily following the operation and wear loose sandals to prevent pressure. A patient information leaflet is issued to you prior to the procedure taking place.