Blog 31 – Ingrown Toenail Surgery: An Overview Of The Procedure, Cost, Recovery, and Risks

Blog 31 – Ingrown Toenail Surgery: An Overview Of The Procedure, Cost, Recovery, and Risks

Blog 31 – Ingrown Toenail Surgery: An Overview Of The Procedure, Cost, Recovery, and Risks

As the old saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure,’ but when it comes to ingrown toenails, sometimes surgery becomes inevitable. If you have an ingrown toenail, you may wonder about the surgery procedure, the cost, how long it’ll take to recover, and if any risks are involved.  

While the surgery is a straightforward process with a very short recovery period that doesn’t require you to be bedridden, you do need to make sure you follow the right recovery steps.

In this blog, we will be taking you through the ingrown toenail surgery procedure and its optimal recovery process in the hope that anyone who is considering (or booked in for) ingrown toenail surgery will get a good level of comfort and understanding of this very safe and minimally invasive procedure.  

Understanding Ingrown Toenails & Cost of Surgery

In discussing the topic of ingrown toenails, it’s essential to understand that they occur when the edge of your toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing pain and potentially leading to an infection. 

This is a common issue that an experienced podiatrist can address, whether through ingrown toenail surgery or some other treatment option (e.g. BS Brace, Onyfix), depending on your specific situation.

This surgery is a standard procedure that addresses the root cause of the issue and eliminates the discomfort and possible complications of ingrown toenails. It’s a very simple process—the Podiatrist will clean the area, numb it, and meticulously remove the portion of the toenail causing the problem. It is a walk-in, walk-out procedure (albeit with a new bandage on your toe on the way out).

It’s worth noting that ingrown toe nail surgery cost can vary depending on factors like the severity of the issue, your insurance coverage and the experience of the Podiatrist. It’s always wise to discuss costs with your Podiatrist before the surgery. However, you can typically expect to spend between $250 – $500 depending on the surgery required.

The Ingrown Toe Nail Surgical Procedure

When you undergo an ingrown toe nail surgery, your Podiatrist will remove the ingrown edge of your nail and, in some cases, apply phenol to prevent its regrowth. This is done under local anaesthetic, making the procedure comfortable and painless.

For any readers that hate needles, an experienced Podiatrist can gradually numb your toe in increments, so you barely feel a thing – a tiny surface-level prick, wait for the aesthesia to work, then a little deeper for the next deposit of aesthesia, and so on until the toe is completely numb and you won’t feel a thing.

Your Podiatrist will use specialised tools like clippers and forceps to remove the offending nail portion gently and precisely. In more severe cases, they might perform a total nail avulsion or chemical mastoidectomy. These techniques aim to prevent the ingrown toenail’s recurrence and promote proper nail growth.

Here are key points to remember about the surgical procedure:

Post-Surgery Nail Care and Ingrown Toe Nail Surgery Recovery

After your ingrown toenail surgery, it’s vital to prioritise post-surgery care and recovery to guarantee proper healing and minimise the chances of complications. 

Your care regimen typically includes soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salts. This practice not only reduces swelling but also promotes healing.

Maintaining the cleanliness and dryness of your wound is essential. Applying a topical antibiotic ointment daily can ward off infections while changing dressings as directed by your podiatrist, which ensures the best healing conditions. It’s also advisable to elevate your foot to reduce swelling, and remember, no picking at the surgical site!

Resuming normal bathing is usually fine, but strenuous activities should be avoided. Wearing properly fitted shoes will support the healing process and prevent the recurrence of ingrown toenails.

Your post-surgery recovery also involves a careful balance between rest and activity. Avoid weight-bearing activities for a period specified by your Podiatrist. This rest period and swelling management practices like warm Epsom salt soaks will help alleviate any post-surgery discomfort and aid in overall toe recovery. 

Potential Risks and Complications from Ingrown Toenail Surgery Recovery

While ingrown toenail surgery has a safe prognosis, you should be aware there are some low-probability risks, such as recurrence, nail narrowing, thickening, or infection, that we should cover. 

The chance of your toenail growing back ingrown is very low, but it can happen in rare instances. 

Additionally, if you are one of the rare instances requiring multiple surgeries, this can lead to a noticeable narrowing of your nail, which may impact its appearance. If that’s a concern, discuss it with your Podiatrist beforehand.

Infections, while typically manageable with oral antibiotics, are another possible complication. You’ll need to keep a keen eye for signs of infection, such as:

Preventing Ingrown Toenail Recurrence

To prevent the recurrence of ingrown toenails, it’s important to adopt several preventative measures, such as regularly trimming your toenails straight across. This simple act helps to maintain a uniform nail edge, reducing the chances of the nail curving and digging into your skin. Avoid cutting your nails too short, as it can lead to the same problem.

Keeping your feet clean and dry is also essential. Maintaining good foot hygiene minimises the risk of infection, a common complication that can lead to ingrown toenails. When bathing, clean your feet thoroughly and dry them well, paying extra attention to the spaces between your toes.

treat treatments ingrown nail nail

Equally important is your choice of footwear. Avoid shoes that are too tight or narrow, which can pressure your toes and cause the nails to grow into the surrounding skin. Opt for comfortable, well-fitting shoes that give your toes enough room to move.

If you notice any signs of nail abnormalities or feel any discomfort, seek prompt medical attention. Early treatment can prevent an ingrown toenail from progressing. Most importantly, follow any post-surgery care instructions your healthcare professional provides to ensure proper healing and minimise the chances of recurrence.

Summing It Up - Ingrown Toe Nail Surgery An (almost) Painless Treatment & Procedure

In summary, while ingrown toenail surgery may seem intimidating, it’s a straightforward procedure that is safe and (almost) painless, that offers a much-needed and lasting remedy for an issue significantly impacting your quality of life.

Post-surgery, it’s important to rest and properly care for your wound to guarantee healthy recovery.

Understanding these aspects can help you make an informed decision about whether this surgery is the right step for you. We always recommend you speak to an experienced ingrown toenail Podiatrist about your options.  

Some ingrown toenails require surgery, and some don’t—taking the time for a professional assessment is always a good move so you have peace of mind that you’re making the best decision to get rid of your ingrown toenail once and for all.

There are a number of potential remedies for ingrown toenails, so it is important that you speak to an experienced Podiatrist about which treatment will work best for your situation – and the sooner the better. The longer you leave an ingrown toenail, the more difficult it will be to resolve.

If you think you may have an ingrown toenail and want the right professional advice on how to treat it, we currently have a limited offer running to help you out. A GAP FREE ingrown toenail assessment consult (only $59 for those without extras private insurance).

Please feel free to book yourself in online or call our friendly Reception on (03) 9457 2336 today.

Ingrown Toenails

Understand how you get ingrown toenails and what you can do to get rid of them once and for all. You don't need to put up with the pain of an ingrown toenail any longer.

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