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Ingrown Toenail Surgery Sydney


What are Ingrown Toenails?


Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail grows directly into the skin around it on the toes. The skin surrounding the nail can get damaged, sometimes causing pain, redness and/or infection. Ingrown nails most commonly occur on the big toes.

In cases where conservative treatments are ineffective or the ingrown toenail keeps reoccurring, surgical removal is often required. This normally involves the partial removal of the nail edge, which should never grow back. This is a permanent solution to avoid continual discomfort and pain.


Sydney’s Ingrown Toenail Specialists


Our team of Sydney Podiatrists, are highly experienced in ingrown toenail surgery, a minor and painless procedure. The procedure will be performed at our clinic under a local anaesthetic using sterilised instruments and full aseptic techniques.

Before performing the procedure, we carry out a full assessment and discuss suitability for the surgery. Depending on the outcome of your consultation, we will then book you in for the surgery.

When is Ingrown Toenail Surgery Required?


Ingrown toenail surgery is often required when conservative treatments are ineffective and the problem gets worse. Before surgery, you may be prescribed an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics by your doctor if the area is infected.


Ingrown toenail removal is also recommended if the problem is recurrent. The surgical removal of the nail should prevent any further ingrown toenails.

What To Expect From Our Ingrown Toenail Procedure


We recommend not to drive to or home from the surgery, so please arrange for someone to drop you off and collect you after the procedure.


Before surgically removing the ingrown toenail, we will discuss your medical history as well as the full history of your ingrown toenail problem. We will then assess the area, checking the nail and surrounding skin.


This will allow us to determine if you require ingrown toenail surgery, or if other conservative treatments could be effective. We will also talk you through the risks and benefits of each treatment and answer any of your questions.


The procedure itself takes approximately 30- 60 minutes and is performed under local anaesthetic. The area will be numbed quickly, so you will feel absolutely no pain during the removal.


Depending on your ingrown toenail problem, we will remove one or both edges of the nail. The nail is then chemically cauterized at the root so that the portion of the damaged nail does not regrow. This leaves the nail with a straight, problem-free edge.


Once the removal is complete, we will dress your toe to keep it clean and you will be ready to head home and relax.

Ingrown Toenail Removal Recovery


Following your ingrown toenail procedure, we will provide detailed care instructions for keeping your toe clean.


Ingrown toenail surgery causes minimal postoperative pain. Your toe should be fully healed within 2 - 3 weeks, provided no complications occur. In most cases, there will be no signs of surgery or scars after this period.


Immediately after the procedure, while your toe will be numb you will still be able to walk out of the clinic. We recommend avoiding activity for the rest of the day to minimise pain and promote good healing. In most cases, you can resume normal activity the following day.

You will need to attend 2 to 3 followup appointments which are covered in the overall surgery cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Ingrown Toenails?

There are several causes of ingrown toenails including:

  • Incorrect Nail Cutting Technique 

  • Incorrect Footwear 

  • Poor Foot Hygiene 

  • Trauma to the toenail

  • Athletic Activities

  • Nail deformities such as excessive thickness

  • Bony prominence underneath the toenail 

  • Genetic Predisposition

  • Poor Foot Biomechanics which can be aided with custom orthotics.

Is Ingrown Toenail Surgery Covered by Medicare?


Does Private Health Insurance Cover Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

Usually it does. This will depend on your Health Fund and policy cover.

Does Ingrown Toenail Surgery Hurt Afterwards?

Patients may feel some soreness around the toe for a short period following the surgery. However, the recovery will be nowhere near as painful as the ingrown toenail itself. Over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol will help with any pain.

How Long Is Recovery From Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

Approximately 2 - 3 weeks on average.

What Shoes to Wear After Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

Open-toed shoes like sandals or loose-fitting shoes for at least 7 days following surgery. Avoid tight-fitting shoes or high-heeled shoes.

How Soon Can You Swim After Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

Avoid swimming for at least 7 days following the ingrown toenail removal. After this period, dress the toe with a waterproof dressing for another 2 weeks. Getting the affected area wet too soon could cause infection.

How Long After Ingrown Toenail Surgery Can I Exercise?

You should wait approximately 1 - 2 weeks before exercising. If you feel any discomfort after the 2 weeks, then you will likely need to wait longer for it to heal.

How Long Should I Take off Work After Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

You should be able to return to work the following day in an open or loose fitting shoe.

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