If you’re wrestling a chronic ingrown toenail that’s not seemingly responsive to at-home treatments, it’s probable your doctor has suggested a surgical operation. Whilst considered incredibly safe and effective in the vast majority of patients, some individuals feel very wary toward such procedures through fear their nail won’t grow back after surgery.
The concept of being left with an indented, bare nail bed isn’t overly agreeable despite posing no risk to comprehensive health. Women are typically more self conscious regarding this than males, leaving many considering refusing the procedure altogether. However, there’s a robust chance your removed or partially removed nail will regrow and make a total recovery provided befitting methods of care are taken. To learn more, keep reading!
When Do Ingrown Nails Require Surgery?
Typically considered a minor skin condition, ingrown toenails rarely require surgery. With plenty of simple techniques you can bestow solely at home, many ingrown nails make full recoveries after just a few weeks of proficient self care.
But if infected or present as a result of an unusually thickened nail structure, surgery may be the leading option.
Types of Ingrown Nail Surgery
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach referencing ingrown nail surgery, and differing techniques will be required dependent on the characteristics of your nail. It’s important to remember that surgical procedures are only offered as a last resort. Therefore, if your ingrown nail isn’t responding to home treatments or you suffer with potentially dangerous conditions like diabetes likely to cause uttermost complications, you may be a viable candidate.
There’s typically 3 categories of ingrown nail surgery: nail lifting, partial removal and full removal. In mellower cases, a simple nail lifting procedure may suffice in which the piercing corners of nail are lifted and separated from the skin using a cotton boundary. This separation prevents the nail from reverting back beneath the skin. But if a lifted procedure isn’t a practical solution, partial or complete nail removal may be obligatory.
What Happens During Ingrown Nail Surgery?
In preparation, your doctor or surgeon will thoroughly clean your entire affected toe and will utilize an anesthetic injection as numbing agent. Receiving the injection is likely to feel a little sharp, but won’t be continuous. And once it kicks into action you shouldn’t feel anything further whilst the procedure is taking place.
Expertly crafted tools and perhaps a pair of scissors will be combined to carefully split your toenail from its bed. This is typically achieved by creating a narrow cut from the ingrown portion of the nail down to its base. This piece will then be fully removed or, if necessary, the entire nail waived from your toe. Due to anesthesia, you’re highly unlikely to feel any status of pain or discomfort throughout the process. But once its effects begin to dwindle, you may experience a dulled short-term pain within the operated toe.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment After Surgery
You’ll be contented to discover you won’t be simply left alone to fend for yourself with an exposed nailbed post surgery. In order for your ailment to achieve full cure, ingrown toenail treatment after surgery alongside advice will be implemented. A generous layer of protective petroleum jelly will be applied to the toe in question, and your doctor will securely fashion a strapping bandage over the entire area to prohibit extra damage. You’ll also be presented with detailed instructions of how to tend to your wound at home, and if your toenail was infected and required laser treatment you’ll likely receive an antibiotic prescription.
It’s highly recommended you rest as much as possible for at least the first couple of days after the procedure, consciously keeping foot activity to a minimum. Loose fitting, comfortable shoes should be worn for at least 14 days, and you should keep the toe fully covered with a dressing until completely healed. If unsure how to define when your toe has healed, consult your doctor for clarification.
After Ingrown Toenail Surgery, Does the Nail Grow Back?
Perhaps the most commonly asked question practitioners receive when administering these operations is ‘does the nail grow back after ingrown toenail surgery’? There’s no concrete answer as every individual case is contrasting, and some patients may never regrow a full nail if complete removal was undergone.
However, if your nail was only partially removed it’s likely you’ll experience noticeable re-growth within just 3 months, and full removal may take up to a year. Luckily, many recipients of this surgery report at least some degree of regrowth, so it’s unlikely you’ll be left with a bare nail bed.
But it’s important to be aware any regrowth you experience will likely be much thinner than your original nail. This is because a cautery or acidic solution will have been used to inhibit the cells underneath to prevent the process of a new ingrown nail growing. The destruction of these cells is paramount to prevent future incidences, and is the reason your new nail may be lacking thickness.
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