Why would I want to have Ingrown Toenail surgery?
Ingrown nails are often infected, bleeding and painful. Although many ingrown toenails can be fixed quite conservatively by a podiatrist, sometimes more aggressive action is required. If an ingrown toenail is the result of a one off thing such as a nail cutting accident, then one visit to trim out the sharp edge may be all that is required. In contrast, if the underlying cause of the infected ingrown nail is a deformed toenail that puts excessive pressure in one area, a permanent solution such as nail surgery is needed.
How does Ingrown Toe Nail Surgery work?
Ingrown toenail surgery is known in podiatry as a nail wedge resection. At Walk Without Pain we use chemical cauterisation (killing) of the nail growing cells. This doesn’t involve cutting the skin or having any stitches. The only ‘wound’ from the process is a chemical burn about the size of a match head It results in a slightly narrowed nail which no longer presses on the edge of the toe causing pain. The podiatrist begins by using a local anaesthetic to numb the base of the toe that the surgery is to be performed on. Once the toe is numb, the podiatrist uses a very, very fine chisel-like tool, designed for neurosurgery, to slice through the nail and not the skin. The section of the nail that has been cut is then removed using forceps. A small pocket is left under the cuticle of the nail. A chemical is then applied to this area and stops the cells from regrowing. This process requires no stitches and is permanent.
What is the cost of Ingrown Toenail surgery?
A single nail wedge resection will cost $340 and covers the procedure as well as the local anaesthetic that will be used to numb the area. If you are having two toenails done at the same time it will cost $550. As we are podiatrists, the treatment attracts a health fund rebate depending on your level of cover. You can check your rebate by calling your insurer and quoting the item number F 546. If they do not recognise this code, try 014 or 440.
What aftercare is required?
The healing time for a nail wedge resection is usually quite short. Although there is not usually much pain associated with a NWR your podiatrist might recommend Panadol for the night of the procedure. It is recommended that you keep reasonable quiet for the day and night of the procedure. Generally speaking though, it is usually much less painful to have this job done than to have an ingrown toenail.
Following surgery, the podiatrist will dress the original wound and it is important to keep the dressing dry to avoid infection. Although tricky, it is recommended that the foot be wrapped in either glad wrap or a plastic bag when showering. You should return to the podiatrist after 3 days to have the dressing removed by the podiatrist and the wound assess. After this consult the podiatrist will teach you how to properly care for the healing wound as well as how to your toe at home.