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Ingrown toenail is a very common condition affecting people of all ages. An ingrown toenail occur when the nail has pierced or is pressing against the surrounding skin of the toe, causing pain, inflammation and sometimes infection.

1. Do I need ingrown toenail surgery?

2. What is ingrown toenail surgery and what does it involve?

3. What happens after ingrown toenail surgery?

4. What are the potential complications?


To ensure the safety of patients and staff, Passion Podiatry practice the strictest infection control procedures in day to day treatment activities. All instruments are cleaned, disinfected and sterilized in accordance with the National Infection Control Guidelines Australian Standards AS 4187 – 1994 Code of Practice.

THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your foot health. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or your podiatrist.

1. Do I Need Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

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For some people cutting their toenails in a particular way is enough or keep the pain at bay, for others a regular appointment with their podiatrist will help. Unfortunately for some people it doesn’t matter what they try their ingrown toenail just continue to be problematic. In such recurrent condition where all other conservative treatment options are exhausted., surgery will often be indicated as a permanent solution.

2. What Is Ingrown Toenail Surgery And What Does It Involve?

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Nail surgery is also known as a Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) which involves removing part of the nail or a Total Nail Avulsion (TNA) which involves removal of the entire nail. It is a minor procedure performed in podiatrist’s rooms which generally takes around one hour. The patient is able to walk immediately afterwards.

Our podiatrist will conduct a complete assessment and consider clinical factors to determine whether or not this surgery is suited to you. The procedure itself is performed under local anaesthetic via injection into the toe to numb the area. The anaesthetic will generally wear off in about 2-3 hours.


Once numb, the area is prepped to minimise the risk of infection and a tight elastic ring called tourniquet is applied to the toe to control bleeding. The offending portion of the nail is then gently lifted and removed. The skin is not cut at all and stitches are not required. A chemical called Phenol is then applied at the base of the nail to assist in preventing nail regrowth. As the procedure is completed, the tourniquet is removed and a sterile dressing is applied. A self wound care instructions will be provided and a week follow-up appointment will be organized.

3. What Happens After Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

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After the procedure, the affected toe will continue to be numb for a few hours, after which you may or may not experience some pain and discomfort. Over the shelf pain medication can assist with pain management as required.

The use of open toed footwear and activity modification will be necessary in the first week following the procedure to minimise risks of infection, assist with healing and ensure best surgical outcome. The interference with day to day activities is generally minimal.

The pain associated with the surgery is also very minimal however it takes approximately 4-6 weeks for the toe to heal completely. Most people enjoy significant pain reduction very soon following the procedure.

4. What Are The Potential Complications?

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Like any surgical procedure, there is some risk of complication but this procedure is known to be very safe and effective. The most common side-effects include postoperative infection in the short term which can be minimised through good after care, and the possibility of regrowth of the toenail over time.

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