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Ingrown toenails are a very troublesome problem.


If the problem cannot be corrected with conservative care such as with your podiatrist, or if the ingrown toenail is very severe, or if repeatedly infected, then the next step is a surgical correction.

The surgery is carried out under local anesthetic (you will be awake but feel no pain). The edges of your toenail are cut away to make the toenail narrower. We may also choose to apply a medicine called phenol to the affected area to prevent any nail growing back and potentially causing an ingrown toenail to develop again in the future.


It is not always advisable to apply phenol, and individual care with be discussed pre-op with you.

The operation can usually be performed on the day you attend; however feel free to attend for a separate consultation first if desired. The surgery takes about 30 to 45 minutes in total.

We see both adults and children over the age of 12.

On the day of the surgery

The entire consultation and surgery takes about 45 minutes in total.


  • Bring flip flops or other open type shoes

  • Have someone to drive you home

  • Bring a list of all medications you are taking (if any)

  • Bring your medical insurance number (if you have one)


The local anesthetic will wear off 2-3 hours after surgery so be sure to have pain relief at hand, paracetamol is usually sufficient.

Typically, you are pain free by the next day and can return to work or school within a day or two. Return to sporting activity takes longer – usually a week or two.

While your toe is healing, we recommend that you use an open toe’d sandal.

Change the dressing for the first time between 24 and 48 hours after the nail surgery. Soak it for 4 minutes in a warm saltwater solution containing 2 teaspoons of table salt per litre of water. Use this solution to remove pus and loose scabs. Pat it dry with a clean paper towel. You should apply then savalon cream, and cover with a clean bandage (fabric strip plaster than you cut to desired length is fine). You should continue to do this process once a day, for approximately 5 days, or until we see you back for review. Thereafter cleanse the wound and change the dressing once a day until the wound has healed.

Because toenails grow very slowly, the final cosmetic appearance of the corrected toenail is not achieved for about 6-12 months or so

If you are concerned for any reason after the surgery please contact us on 01-4557260.

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