Nail surgery is a routine minor procedure used to relieve discomfort from ingrown toenails.

If you’ve been unable to treat an ingrown toenail at home, you may need the help of a podiatrist who can perform a short procedure to either remove part of or the whole toenail.

You’ll have an injection of local anesthetic to numb your toe when this is done.

Nail surgery assessment

Nail surgery is a last resort treatment option, and we recommend a full assessment before this is scheduled. We may be able to offer other treatment options that can manage or resolve the problem.

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How to prevent ingrown toenails

To help stop ingrown toenails:

  • do not cut your toenails too short
  • cut straight across the nail, not the edges
  • do not wear shoes that are too tight or do not fit properly

Preparing for surgery

  • Bring large fitting / open-toed shoes or slippers to wear after surgery.
  • You will not be able to drive for 24 hours after surgery (as the local anaesthetic invalids insurance).
  • Please let us know if you have had any other anaesthetic within 24 hours of your procedure (e.g. emergency dental treatment) as we may need to reschedule.
  • Let us know if there have been any changes to your medication since you were assessed.

After surgery

The toenail will take approximately 6-8 weeks to heal fully

  • Keep the dressing clean and dry
  • You will be provided advice on how to look after your toe
  • Change the dressing regularly

If you need urgent care

If you are in severe pain or are concerned about infection please call the NHS 111 helpline for immediate advice.
If you believe you need urgent care please call 999.


Sepsis is life-threatening. It can be hard to spot.
If you think you or someone you look after has symptoms of sepsis, call 999 or go to A&E. Trust your instincts.