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 aggrevating nail spicule or jagged edge.
Permanent ingrown toenail surgery is recommended if IGTN’s are recurrent, or very severe.
What is involved?
- Your toe will be anaesthetised with a local anaesthetic, so you may feel slight pressure but no pain during the procedure.
- A tourniquet is then applied, which will restrict blood flow to the toe temporarily to allow the procedure to be preformed.
- In most cases a small edge of nail and nail bed will be cut and removed from the offending nail.
- A chemical solution (phenol) will be applied under the cuticle, to make sure the cells responsible for producing nail are destroyed.
- A dressing is then applied to toe, which will need to stay in place for a minimum of 24 hours.
- The dressing must stay dry within this time, so if a shower is required using a plastic bag to cover the foot is recommended.
The Podiatrist If Required Will Review You:
- 1 day after surgery
- 3 weeks post surgical
- 6 weeks post surgical
This is to ensure healing is optimised and complications are reduced. 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.
- Allergic reaction to local anaesthetics, if not had previously.
What is Required Prior to 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 cause increased bleeding).
Preparation for Surgery:
- The podiatrist will undertake an assessment to make sure you are a suitable candidate for surgery.
- You may be advise you speak to your GP, to check if any medications etc need to be ceased temporarily prior to surgery.
- A consent form will need to be signed on the day.
The podiartists at Proactive Podiatry are educated and trained in the area of ingrown toenail surgery. We will undertake a thorough assessment of your toe and provide you with both conservative and surgical options.
- Painful Thickened or Curved Nails
- Ingrown Toenails