Appointment Walk-through: Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Uncomfortable at best, painful and infected at worst, ingrowing toenails can’t be ignored.  AA Podiatry can manage the full process, performed by specialists in a private medical environment.

Ingrown toenails are caused by the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail edge into the skin of the toe. Once the edge of the nail breaks through the skin, it produces inflammation. Initially presenting as a minor discomfort, it may progress into an infection in the adjacent skin and/or become a reoccurring problem.


An ingrowing toenail is a very painful condition which can be caused by an injury, incorrect cutting of the toenail or even family genes. If left untreated, the toe can become inflamed, infected and require ongoing courses of antibiotics.

Depending on the condition of the toenail it can be removed partially or totally with the use of a local anaesthetic injected into the toe which our podiatrists are fully qualified to administer. Phenol (a chemical caustic) is then applied to the nail bed to prevent the regrowth of the nail in that area.  This is to prevent the same problem from quickly re-occurring if the toenail is allowed to grow back again. Patients report minimal to no pain at all after the surgery.

Read More: Tips for good foot care


Initial Assessment

Prior to booking a surgical procedure we’ll first require you to attend a 30 minute assessment where we’ll determine if toenail surgery is indeed necessary.  If it is, we’ll take a full medical history, assess your suitability for local anaesthetic and ask you to sign a consent form for the procedure which we’ll look to book as soon as possible, usually within a week.

Please note: All patients will be assessed for their suitability for treatment regardless of their age.

Surgery Appointment

The actual surgery appointment is a little more involved and whilst a typical toenail surgery appointment may be completed in around an hour, we’d ask you to allow for up to an hour and half in total.

  • Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult who will be asked to sign the consent forms on their behalf.
  • Please wear loose trousers for the appointment and shoes that will accommodate a dressing on the toe.
  • Please do not drive to the nail surgery appointment as your car insurance may be compromised due to having local anaesthetic in the toe.

Post Surgery

After completing the surgery you will be booked back in two days later so we can check on your progress and re-dress the toe. At this stage we’ll provide you with a pack to re-dress the toe yourself along with full instructions on how to do this and care for your toe post surgery. We’ll then see you one final time around 5-7 days later for a further check to ensure that the toe is healing as expected.

To prevent ingrown toenails from recurring wear well-fitting shoes and use proper methods of trimming the toenail with clean instruments. Cut straight across toenails, and do not trim them too short.

You can return to work the day after having ingrown toenail surgery, however it is advised that you reduce any sporting activities for up to 3 weeks after the procedure and generally take extra care with the toe. The healing time for toenail surgery depending on the type of procedure is around 3 weeks and if you require any antibiotics over the period we can liaise with your GP directly to arrange this for you.

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