NAIL SURGERY: How Do I Know If Ingrown Toenail Surgery Is For Me?

What are ingrown toenails?

Do you feel like your toes are always sore? Always preventing you from enjoying the activities you enjoy, always infected, making it difficult to wear your favourite shoes? If you answered yes, you may be the person who has been suffering with ingrown toenails for too long and would benefit greatly from nail surgery.

Ingrown toenails are a painful condition in which the hard toenail, grows into the soft skin and flesh around your toe.  This will often cause redness, swelling and even infection if left untreated.  For such a small area of the body, ingrown toenails can cause an intense amount of pain and discomfort.

Ingrown toenails can be due to a number of factors, they are:

  • incorrect cutting techniques,
  • poor-fitting footwear,
  • injury or trauma to the toe,
  • having sweaty feet causing the skin to be quite soft and
  • unavoidable genetics!

Nail Surgery: 

Nail surgery is a common and effective treatment for painful ingrown toenails that are not resolving with conservative care.

It is basically removal of either partial or the entire toenail from the nail bed.  It is a safe and effective procedure performed in a sterile environment by our experienced podiatry team.

Nail surgery for Ingrown toenails is a non-invasive procedure with less recovery time and pain post-surgery compared to other surgeries. Nail surgery may be suggested if the problem is recurring regularly, causing ongoing pain or the toe keeps becoming infected. The regrowth rates after nail surgery are very low, as we use a chemical called phenol to prevent the nail from growing back.

Nail Surgery:  What Will I Expect DURING An Ingrown Toenail Surgery Procedure at The Footcare Clinic?

An initial consultation is required prior to any nail surgery appointment being scheduled. At this appointment the podiatrist will assess, diagnose and go through your medical history to determine whether nail surgery is the best option for you. The podiatrist will then explain the nail surgery procedure with you. We also understand the pain and discomfort ingrown toenails cause and realise there can often be an urgency with ingrown nail surgery, so we always try and find a time to fit you in as quickly possible.

Following the initial appointment, we will then have the nail surgery appointment. Ingrown nail surgery is quite a simple procedure, and will be able to walk after the surgery. It is a ‘walk in walk out’ procedure performed by one of our podiatrist under sterile conditions here at The Footcare clinic. The nail surgery procedure usually requires about an hour, although the actual procedure itself is quite quick. It is also advised to wear open toed footwear as you will have a large, bulky dressing on the toe post surgery. The ingrown toenail surgery consists of 4 simple steps:

1. Local anaesthetic is injected into the toe, to ensure the toe is numb
2. The ingrown nail section is removed from the root of the nail
3. Phenol, a chemical used to stop nail regrowth, is applied to the nail bed to prevent the ingrown nail returning in the future
4. The toe is cleaned and dressed with sterile dressing to encourage healing and prevent post-op infection.

Following the nail surgery appointment our podiatrist will schedule a follow up review appointment 2-3 days post surgery. At this appointment the podiatrist will check the healing process of the toe, making sure there is no infection or nail regrowth.

Nail Surgery:  What Will I Expect AFTER An Ingrown Toenail Surgery Procedure at The Footcare Clinic?

As mentioned earlier, ingrown toenail surgery at The Footcare Clinic is a ‘walk in walk out’ procedure so there is very little time off your feet. Post nail surgery you will have a big bulky dressing on your toe which you are required to keep dry for 2-3 days or until your follow up appointment.

You are also advised to wear open toed sandals or thongs to prevent any extra pressure on the area. Once you have had your follow up appointment, you will be allowed to get back into normal footwear, given it isn’t too tight across the toes and wasn’t the cause of the problem initially.

Most patients find they can return to normal sporting activities 2-3 weeks post nail surgery, whilst full healing of the toe can take 6-8 weeks. Your podiatrist will continue to monitor the toe’s healing process over the next few weeks following the nail surgery.

Ingrown toenails are such a common, yet extremely painful and frustrating condition.  You should consider nail surgery if your ingrown toenails continue to frustrate you on an ongoing basis.  It is a great long-term solution that is quick, simple and provides lasting results.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • karen ganic
    July 9, 2020 10:28 pm

    can you tell me can this be claimed on my health insurance extras

    • Hi Karen, how are you? If you have private health insurance with extras that cover podiatry then you’d very likely be covered for the nail surgery item numbers. There are a few different codes we use depending on what you have done but call your health fund and ask if they cover you for item numbers 546 or 547. I hope that helps. If you’d like more information please let me know or call our clinic on 9711 7562. Kim 🙂

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