Know the basics
What is Ingrown toenail surgery?
Ingrown toenail surgery is a treatment for ingrown toenail. An ingrowing toenail happens when your toenail grows into the skin around it. The skin can get damaged, causing infection and pain. The problem usually happens to your big toe.
The most common cause of an ingrowing toenail is not cutting your toenails properly. The problem often runs in families as a common cause is having toenails that do not grow straight. Wearing shoes that do not have enough width to fit your toes in their natural position can also cause an ingrowing toenail.
Why is Ingrown toenail surgery performed?
Ingrown toenail is a common problem that many people face. You can avoid or treat your ingrown toenails at home by:
- Trying to cut your toenails straight across and not leaving sharp edges.
- Wearing shoes that comfortably fit the shape of your feet.
- Your GP or podiatrist may be able to push the skin away from the ingrowing toenail or cut away the piece of toenail that has grown into the skin.
However, when the nail punctual deep in the skin and cannot be treated with the mentioned methods, you might need to consider surgery. An ingrowing toenail can happen again.
Understand the risks
What are the risks of Ingrown toenail surgery?
As all the procedures, the risk of complications is inevitable. You should ask your doctor to explain surgical risks can happen to you.
The possible complications of any surgical procedures include:
- Allergy to anesthetic;
- Excessive bleeding or blood clot formation (thrombosis).
Specific complications of the ingrown toenail surgery include:
- Surgical site infections (wounds);
- Infection of the bone tissue beneath.
It is important you understand the risks and complications before having this surgery. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.
Know what happens
How do I prepare for Ingrown toenail surgery?
You must discuss to your doctor about your recent medications, your allergies or any of your health conditions and before having an operation, you will meet your anaesthetist and plan your anaesthetic together. It’s important to follow the instructions about when to stop eating and drinking prior to surgery.
What happens during Ingrown toenail surgery?
The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 10 minutes, involving:
- Nail avulsion (removing your whole toenail).
- Wedge excision (removing part of your toenail).
- Nail-bed ablation (removing part of or the whole toenail and then applying a chemical or an electric current to the area of tissue that your toenail grows from).
- Zadek’s procedure (removing your whole toenail and then cutting away the area of tissue that your toenail grows from).
If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.
What happens after Ingrown toenail surgery?
After a short while you will be able to go home.
Spend most of the time during the first few days with your leg raised so that the swelling settles. After that, you can usually start to be a little more active. Besides, you should do the following things to recover faster:
- Do not play sports or do strenuous exercise for two weeks;
- Keep the dressing dry and clean;
- Try to cut your toenails straight across and do not leave sharp edges;
- Wear shoes that fit the shape of your feet comfortably.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 1, 2017 | Last Modified: November 28, 2019
Ingrown toenail. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Ingrown-toenail/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Ingrown Toenail. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00154. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Ingrown Toenail (Onychocryptosis). http://www.medicinenet.com/ingrown_toenail/page4.htm. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Understanding Ingrown Nails – Treatment. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-ingrown-nail-treatment. Accessed July 16, 2016.