The simple definition of an ingrown toenail is when the side of the toenail grows into the skin. This causes swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. For a minor case of an ingrown toenail, people usually go to salons to have it removed. Some people cut and remove it on their own. But for worse cases, like when it is infected, or for people with chronic ingrown toenails, the best solution is to visit a podiatrist. There are several surgical procedures that can treat an ingrown toenail. The right one depends on the location and the severity of the ingrown nail.

Here are the most common types of ingrown toenail surgery:

  1. Wedge Resection – Partial nail fold and nail matrix removal. This is the most common and simplest type of ingrown nail removal. For this procedure, the doctor will remove the part of the toenail that is digging into the skin. The part of the nail matrix, where the ingrown nail is from, will also be removed. This will prevent the growth of the part of the nail that is causing the problem. 
  2. Toenail Removal – This involves the complete removal of the nail plate. This is not the best procedure to remove the ingrown toenail because the recurrence rate is high. This procedure is usually done when there’s abscess on both sides of the nail that cannot be solved by wedge resection. 
  3. Nail Fold Reduction – If other surgeries would not work, the doctor may operate on the soft tissue around the toenail. This may also be done for patients who are concerned about how their nails would look after the surgery. A wedge of soft tissue on the side of the toe will be removed. When the wedge is stitched closed, the skin is pulled away from the ingrown nail.
  4. Matrixectomy – This is usually the last resort for recurring and severe cases. It involves removing the nail and the nail bed, called the matrix. The complete removal of the nail plate and matrix will prevent the nail from growing ever again. 

If you have an ingrown toenail, consult with a podiatrist to discuss treatment options for your condition. Click here for a Free Consultation with one of our podiatrists.