Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Ingrown toenail surgery is a simple out patient procedure that is fairly quick with minimal pain. Steps can be taken to minimize the pain and in our office some techniques provide virtually eliminate pain. We use a nerve stimulation device that the patient controls the electrical stimulation themselves to help keep the nerves “busy” and a local anesthetic injection is administered. Moments after the injection the area is numbed and patients typically report only dull pain if any during the procedure to remove the ingrown nail.

Patients may experience some discomfort after the procedure however this will depend upon the severity of the condition. Many people report pain is not noticeable after the procedure unless there is direct contact with the area like stubbing their toe. The images on the left show a local injection of a numbing agent that can be used to dull the sensation of the procedure. A section of the nail is removed and the toe was bandaged to prevent infection and provide some cushioning. The final image is after the bandage was removed.


Injecting the anesthesia. by TheGirlsNY, on Flickr Had unexpected toe surgery today. Owie! by TheGirlsNY, on Flickr

Partial removal of the toenail may only temporarily cure the problem and the nail can grow back again.  To prevent regrowth of that section of nail that caused the issue, part of the nail bed is destroyed using a chemical agent to prevent regrowth. This procedure is called a partial matrixectomy. A section is excised and the nail matix for that section is treated so a small section of nail will not regrow in the same area of the original issue. The skin that once lay under the nail will appear raw until it changes to resemble the skin that lay next to the nail.

The actual surgical procedure is relatively quick and numbing agents minimize discomfort. Recovery times will vary based on the extent of the condition and course of treatment. Most patients can resume their normal activities withing two to three days post surgery.