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Incisional Nail Surgery for Ingrowing Toenail

Occasionally it is necessary to treat ingrowing toenails, or other nail pathology, in theatre with an incisional nail procedure. Whilst this is more inconvenient to patients in the early days there are definite advantages over clinical procedures for some patients.

This is particularly so for recurrent pathologies which have not responded to simple clinical care or chemical nail ablations. This will also be the case for previously attempted incisional surgery that has not gone well. At times it is necessary to also remove a small spur of bone (exostosis) at the same time as dealing with the nail problem. In this case incisional nail surgery is essential in getting a full resolution of the problem.

It is also possible to undertake incisional nail surgery at the same time as other foot surgery that requires stitching, but only if there is no infection present. As with most foot surgery the stitches will need to be in place for approximately two weeks following the operation. I do, however, tend to undertake a dressing change sooner to allow earlier return to normal footwear.

It is not unusual also to ask patients to take a course of antibiotics when undergoing incisional nail surgery, as it is well known that the nail fold tends to carry a high load of bacteria. This would be essential if there were clinical signs of infection at the time of the procedure.

The long-term cosmetic result of incisional surgery is often very good, particularly if the nail is highly curved and I have found this to be a very pleasing part of this type of surgery. By following the advice and rehabilitation programme advised by Lyndon and his team you will have the best possible chance of gaining an amazing outcome.