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Surgical procedures are commonly performed by portraitists to treat recurrent nail problems such as ingrown nails. An ingrown toenail is a nail that has pierces (or is pressing against) the adjacent skin of the toe causing pain and inflammation and sometimes infection.

Surgery may be required when an ingrown toenail repeatedly gets infected, is continually painful, the sufferer is unable to wear shoes or the condition inhibits work, sporting or other activities.

Nail surgery performed by podiatrists.

One of the most common nail procedures is partial nail avulsion. The procedure is usually performed in podiatrists’ rooms and the patient is able to walk out immediately afterwards.

What does a partial nail avulsion involve?

The procedure is generally performed under local anesthetic via injection into the toe to numb the area. The anesthetic will most often wear off in about two hours.

Once numb, a tight elastic ring called tourniquet is applied to the toe to control bleeding and the area is prepped to minimise the risk of infection.

The portion of nail to be removed nail is then gently lifted and resected, generally without the toe being cut or stitched. Both sides or the entire nail may be removed this way. A chemical is used to assist in preventing nail regrowth.

Once the procedure is completed, the tourniquet is removed and a sterile surgical dressing is applied. The patient is able to walk immediately afterwards, however, assistance getting home is strongly recommended.

What happens after the procedure?

Re-dressings at home and a few consultations with your podiatrist may be required following the procedure.

Minimal pain relief medication is required – you can discuss this with your podiatrist.

What are the potential complications?

All nail procedures have been associated with a slight chance of recurrence. Infection whilst the wound is healing can be an issue. Your podiatrist can advise you and manage these and other complications that may occur.

All surgical procedures have some risk of complication; however, this procedure is associated with a low rate of complications. Again you should discuss this with your podiatrist.

How your podiatrist can help?

Regular visits to your podiatrist can manage and prevent ingrown toenails, alleviate pain, and help keep you on your feet and mobile.

If you are concerned about your feet and lower leg health please contact us at Canberra Podiatry on 6281 1200. We have been providing Podiatry services to the Canberra Region since 1997.