An ingrown toe nail is a condition where the edge of the nail grows into the skin at the side of the nail. This can cause pain, a wound and lead to infection.
Nail surgery (or nail avulsion) is a minor operation to remove the whole nail or part of a nail, where there is an ingrown toe nail. Cutting the nail can help with the pain or prevent infection, but this will not necessarily treat the problem in the long run. We recommend that you have nail surgery if infection or pain is occurring often.
Toe nail surgery is carried out painlessly under local anaesthetic. This is achieved by using an anaesthetic injection similar to that used by dentists. A small piece of toenail is removed from the side that is problematic and a chemical is applied to prevent that piece of nail growing back again. Sometimes the degree of toenail problems means that we remove the whole nail. You can usually go back to work the next day. You simply need to remember to keep your toe protected.
The nail bed usually heals over a period of up to 8 weeks if you follow all the advice given, but can take longer with certain medical conditions. Over this period we see you for re-dressings to ensure everything is healing well.