What Is Nail Surgery And How Is It Done?

At Chase Podiatry, we can clear the ingrown or damaged nail using a simple and painless clinical technique. If this is not possible we can perform a partial or total nail excision with chemical matrixectomy under local anaesthetic. Antibiotics can be provided from stock or by private prescription. This has been shown through research to be the most reliable form of procedure to reduce the risk of recurrence caused by a regrowth of the nail. Nail surgery is generally very safe, with very minimal pain afterwards, and can be safely performed in an office based clinical setting.

The procedure involves removal of the outer edge of the nail, with the nail root (matrix), and treatment of the area where the nail root is located with an acid (phenol) to destroy the cells which are responsible for nail growth. It is done under a local anaesthetic ring block which completely removes all pain sensation in the toe (temporary). Cosmetically, the nail plate may look slightly narrower once fully healed but perfectly normal.

After the procedure, you will be sent home with the toe bandaged and an instruction leaflet on what to do (pain medications, elevation, rest, keep dry, etc). Typically, we will review you within a week and change the dressing, and then given you instructions on self management of the toe (changing dressings) over the coming weeks. We will then review the toe again at about 4-6 weeks to make sure it is healing properly. This is all included in the cost.

Who is suited to having ingrown toenail surgery?

Most sufferers of chronic ingrown toenails will be suitable for the procedure and there are very few cases where surgery cannot be offered. All instruments are fully sterilised with a fully compliant sterilisation process.

What are the benefits and risks?


The principle benefit of toenail surgery is to provide a permanent solution to chronic pain, discomfort or infection affecting the toe. Left untreated, chronic ingrown toenails can in some circumstances lead to severe infections. The surgery can also be performed for a fungal nail but often needs to be a total removal of the nail.


No surgical procedure, no matter how large or small, is without risk.

The most common issues that may occur following ingrown toenail surgery are infection, recurrence or delayed healing. Typically, the chance of developing any of these problems with ingrown toenail surgery is very small, and measured at only a few percent of all surgical cases in healthy individuals.

Because of these potential risks, we will explain and discuss these issues with you, and ask that you complete a consent form to indicate you are aware of these risks before we undertake care of your ingrown toenail.