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Ingrown Toenail Surgery

big toenail that has swollen ingrown

Ingrown toenails occur when a small part of the toenail pierces and penetrates down the side of the surrounding skin. The result is pain, redness and swelling in the affected toe. The wound may bleed, and it is common for an infection to develop, causing yellow, white or clear discharge to present at the border of the nail.

To learn more about ingrown toenails and why they develop, click here.

Treating Ingrown Toenails

While some people may only experience an ingrown toenail once and so can manage it conservatively, many will suffer from repeated ingrown toenails, often affecting the same border of the nail. If this is not your first ingrown toenail, we may recommend a permanent solution to prevent the problem from continuing to cause you pain in the future. We have two primary options available:

1. Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA)

A PNA is a minor procedure performed in your treatment chair to correct your ingrown toenail. It takes one hour, with approximately 15-20 minutes of ‘procedure’ time, and the rest spent on prep work and dressing the toe afterwards. Don’t worry, the procedure is painless as it is completed under local anaesthetic.


During a PNA, we remove the small portion of the troublesome nail, and apply a chemical that destroys the nail-growing cells. This means that you will not continue to produce nail in that small corner of the nail that we treat. Instead, your nail will appear to have a smooth and straight nail border. The nail does not look abnormal, and once healed, it is often unnoticeable that you’ve had the procedure done at all.


We monitor you carefully in the weeks following the procedure to ensure it is healing well, and to show you how to care for your toe and reapply the dressings until it has healed.


To read a case study of a partial nail avulsion completed on an ingrown toenail, click here.


  • Timeframes
    • Appointment length - 60 minutes
    • One day of rest recommended (treatment day)
    • 2-8 weeks for recovery
  • Appearance changes - minor to none
  • Pain level - pain-free (local anaesthetic)
  • Success Rate - 80% long-term resolution success


big toenail before and after the ingrown toenail surgery

2. Total Nail Avulsion (TNA)

A TNA procedure is very similar in its methodology to a PNA, except that instead of removing a small portion of the ingrown nail, the entire nail is removed. This is often selected by patients that not only have an ingrown toenail but changes to the structure or appearance of their toenails like nail thickening, nail shape distortion, a moth-eaten appearance from toenail fungus, and similar problems.


With a TNA, there are two options after removing the nail:


  • Permanently prevent the nail from growing back by chemically destroying the nail-growing cells
  • Allow the nail to regrow, in the hopes that the appearance/structure will improve as the nail starts ‘fresh’


With the latter option, your ingrown nail may recur. Many people that have TNA’s do believe the ingrown nail is associated with changes to the nail shape or structure, and hence having the procedure may prevent them from coming back.

I go there and they have pretty much excelled in the way they deal with me either looking after my feet or going to Lyle for a massage. When I walk through the door I feel welcomed and the staff there are excellent. Troy should be proud of the wonderful staff he has.
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