Ingrown toenail pain? Why not consider nail surgery

Mr Liam Stapleton

At Benenden Hospital, nail surgery is a safe, painless procedure which offers a permanent cure to recurring ingrown nails. Some patients can be put off seeking treatment through fear of minor surgery which leads to a worsening of the problem and potentially more pain. 

If left untreated, an ingrowing toenail could also become infected. To reduce the risk of infection we would recommend washing your feet regularly to keep the area clean, changing socks frequently, wearing properly fitting shoes, and cutting your nails correctly.

Our hospital has two highly experienced experts performing nail surgery for ingrown toenails. Between them, Consultant Podiatric Surgeon, Mr Andrew MacFarlane and Specialist in Podiatric Sports Medicine, Mr Liam Stapleton, have performed over 12,000 nail surgeries with a success rate of over 97%. Our Podiatrists work closely alongside the Dermatology, Orthopaedic and Physiotherapy departments to ensure the best treatment is available to you.

Consultant Liam Stapleton explains further: “During surgery, two pain killing local anesthetic injections are given with a very fine needle. Whilst this [the injections] sting slightly it is not overly painful; I can attest to that from personal experience. Every anxious patient I have seen has remarked once the procedure is complete that it wasn’t too painful, and it wasn’t worth the anxiety they had suffered.”

Once the toe is numb, the painful edges of the nail are removed, leaving behind a normal healthy-looking nail plate. The whole procedure takes approximately five minutes and then you can walk out to spend the day resting at home. Daily activities can resume on day two as long as suitable footwear is worn. Pain killers (analgesics) are rarely needed after surgery and, if needed, usually only Paracetamol is advised.

Between two and seven days after surgery, the initial dressing will need to be changed at the hospital. Subsequent daily dressing changes are performed at home by patients. It takes two to three weeks to fully recover for most healthy patients.

At Benenden Hospital, we ensure that your patient journey goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Firstly, you will have an initial consultation with either of our skilled Podiatrists where your history and symptoms will be carefully listened to and recorded. The purpose of the appointment will be to make a diagnosis and an X-Ray, MRI scan or gait analysis will achieve this. “Working out why a patient has acquired this injury is sometimes more important than the actual injury itself because it prevents it from becoming a recurring problem.”- Liam Stapleton explains.

You will receive a treatment plan tailored to what works best for you by taking into account your lifestyle, potential recovery time and budget.

In addition to toenail surgery, Benenden Hospital also offers a plethora of other podiatry treatments:

  • Gait analysis allows us to create custom inserts which go inside your shoes to alter the force, helping different conditions
  • Ultrasound scanning is a diagnostic tool for foot, ankle and Achilles problems
  • Cortisone injections into an arthritic joint and lubricant injections containing hyaluronic acid. These seek to lubricate the arthritic joints so that they don’t grind and cause more pain
  • For Achilles problems we offer hydro dissection which consists of stripping off the scar tissue of the achilleas to decrease pain
  • Cryotherapy is just one of the many ways that verruca’s and warts can be treated
  • If you’re living with tendon problems in your foot, ankle or lower leg, then shockwave therapy may help to relieve the pain by passing a physical sound pulse into the affected tissue to stimulate reparation

Things to remember after undergoing ingrown toenail surgery:

  1. Rest for the first day keeping your foot elevated
  2. Do not get the dressing wet under any circumstances
  3. The surgery success rate is over 97%

Find out more about ingrowing toenail removal and the podiatric treatments and services available to you today by completing our online enquiry form or by calling our Private Patient team on 01580 363158.

Published on 23 September 2021