Surgery for an Ingrown Toenail
This patient suffered from a chronic ingrown toenail on the outside (lateral) border of her large toe (hallux). The location is marked with an arrow. From left to right:
- The toe was anesthetized, prepped with antiseptic, and a tourniquet applied.
- The lateral border of the nail has been removed.
- Liquefied phenol is applied to cauterize the nail matrix (growth area) and nail bed.
- The chemical cautery is complete.
- All wrapped up and ready to go home!
The procedure is painless, as the toe is put “to sleep” with a local anesthetic agent. There is minimal post-operative discomfort. The wound heals in about four to six weeks. During this period it is simply dressed with topical antibiotic and band-aids. After healing the nail is normal in appearance, somewhat more narrow than before. The incurvated nail border is gone, leaving a toenail unlikely to ingrow again.