Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Ingrown Toenail Surgery

  • Permanent removal of the aggravating nail spicule
  • Local anaesthetic is necessary to numb the toe
  • Relatively simple day procedure


Ingrown toenails (IGTN’s) occur when a nail spicule or edge of the nail pierces the skin and causes a bacterial infection.

They are a very common reason for people to visit a podiatrist, as they can be very painful and normally do not resolve without removal of the aggravating nail spicule or jagged edge.

Permanent ingrown toenail surgery is necessary if IGTN’s are recurrent, or very severe.

What Does The Surgery and Follow Up Care Involve?

  • A local anaesthetic is necessary to numb your toe to ensure no pain if felt during the procedure.
  • A tourniquet around the toe, will temporarily restrict blood flow to the toe during the procedure.
  • In most cases a small edge of the offending nail and nail bed will be cut and taken out.
  • A chemical solution (phenol) is applied under the cuticle, to make sure the cells responsible for producing nail are destroyed.
  • A dressing is then applied to the toe, which will need to stay in place for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • The dressing must stay dry during this time, it will be necessary to use a plastic bag to cover the foot when showering.


Review Timeline:

  • 1-2 days after surgery
  • 3 weeks post surgical
  • 6 weeks post surgical

This is to optimise healing and reduce complications. At the 3 week mark a scab or hard thick skin may be evident. This will need to be carefully removed by the podiatrist, and redressed.


What Are The Risks?

  • Failure of the surgery and partial regrowth of nail
  • Infection
  • Delayed Healing
  • Allergic reaction to local anaesthetics, if not had previously

What Do I Need For Surgery?

    • Clean feet.
    • Open-toed shoes.
    • Someone to drive you home (as your foot may be numb).
    • Pain relief (do not take aspirin/ disprin for pain relief as this will thin your blood and increase bleeding).
    • The podiatrist will undertake an assessment to make sure you are a suitable candidate for surgery.
    • Speak to your GP, to check if you need to stop any medications temporarily prior to surgery.
    • Sign a consent form on the day.
Make an appointment