Frequently Asked Questions - Ingrown Toenail Surgery
Is ingrown toenail surgery painful ?
Ingrown toenail surgery is performed under local anaesthetic making the procedure 100% pain-free. For those that would like the injection of local anaesthetic to be pain-free, we offer the use of Comfort-in to numb the skin prior to injection.
Will there be much pain after ingrown toenail surgery?
The minimally invasive nature of a Partial Nail Avulsion combined with the use of phenol (known as an analgesic) allows for a minimum of pain or discomfort following the procedure. You will be given specific post-operative instructions that will help minimise any discomfort that you may encounter after the local anaesthetic wears off.
Is ingrown toenail surgery safe?
The most common procedure we perform is called a Partial Nail Avulsion. This minimally invasive procedure requires no skin incisions or stitches and is suitable and safe for almost everyone.
How will my toenail look after ingrown toenail surgery?
Once healed, a successful Partial Nail Avulsion will leave you with a slightly narrower toenail. Most of the toenail removed is hidden under the skin, so the visible change in nail width doesn't change greatly. Rarely, in more severe cases, where the nail is extremely thickened or has other complications, the whole toenail may be removed via a Total Nail Avulsion.
How long does ingrown toenail surgery take to perform?
It generally takes up to 45 minutes to perform a partial or total nail avulsion. If there are multiple toes being treated, it may take longer. Specifics on estimated time should be discussed with you podiatrist after assessing the toe/s.
When can I go back to work following ingrown toenail surgery?
Usually within 2-3 days. Sometimes sooner, depending on the job and footwear requirements.
When can I get back to playing sport following ingrown toenail surgery?
In 2-4 weeks depending on the sport and the shoes worn. You can discuss the estimated time off with your podiatrist beforehand.
When can I wear narrow or pointed shoes again?
You will need to wait until the toe is completely healed following ingrown toenail surgery. This can take 3-6 weeks. You can get more specific estimated time frame after your podiatrist has assessed your toe.
Can I drive after ingrown toenail surgery?
For your safety, we recommend that you make arrangements for someone to drive you home following the procedure. Driving is not advisable for up to 12 hours post-operatively due to the use of local anaesthetics.
When is toenail surgery a better option than toenail bracing?
Ingrown toenail surgery is best for certain types of nails (e.g. flat wide nails) and when wanting a fast result that will allow resumption of sports where kicking or tight fitting boots/shoes are worn. It's also more practical for those wanting to wear high heels or shoes with a pointed/narrow toe box - something you can't wear while undergoing nail bracing treatment.
I have diabetes, is ingrown toenail surgery suitable?
In most cases, yes. However, some patients with diabetes may be at higher risk for post-operative infection and delayed healing. Prior to recommending surgery, we will assess your situation and advise on the safest treatment option.
What are potential complications and what can go wrong with ingrown toenail surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks involved. A Partial Nail Avulsion procedure is associated with a low rate of complication and is known to be very safe and effective. The most common side-effects are post-operative infection in the short term and the possibility of regrowth of the nail over time.
Does my private health fund cover ingrown toenail surgery costs?
Most health funds provide rebates for ingrown toenail surgery - check with your fund if you're covered. We have HICAPS facilities so are able to offer on-the-spot rebates.
Can my toenail grow back after having ingrown toenail surgery?
The Partial Nail Avulsion procedure used at Ingrown Toenail Clinics Australia has been shown to have a very low rate of nail regrowth of the removed portion of nail. Generally there is a 1.5/100 chance of nail regrowth. In the case of regrowth, revision surgery can provide relief in many instances.
Does Medicare cover ingrown toenail surgery costs?
If you qualify for an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program arranged by your GP, a portion of the associated costs may be covered by Medicare (up to a maximum of $264.75 per year). Please contact your GP to discuss eligibility for this program.
If I'm pregnant or breastfeeding can I still have ingrown toenail surgery?
It's generally not advisable however in some cases the benefits can outweigh the risks. For example, while breastfeeding the risks are relatively low, while the benefits of removing an ingrown toenail (especially when infected) can be significant.