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Oct 07

Do I Need Surgery For An Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail causes a lot of pain in the toe. It can be caused by various reasons such as not wearing the right shoes and incorrect trimming of nails. An ingrown toenail can also be inherited. It often occurs due to an anomaly in the anatomy of the nailbed and the toe. The big toe is usually affected, but any toe can have an ingrown toenail. For many people, surgery for an ingrown toenail is the only solution. Home treatments can be used to ease the pain, but their affects are not long-term. For those who are looking for a long-term solution to an ingrown toenail, surgery may be the best option.

What Happens During Surgery?

During surgery, the offending part of the nail is removed to prevent it from growing into the skin. By removing a sliver of the nail, from the tip to the base, the pressure on the skin is alleviated. The swelling and pain caused by an ingrown toenail is also eliminated. Part of the nailbed is also destroyed to prevent the condition from returning. This is usually done through using chemicals. One of the chemicals that are usually used is phenol. By partially destroying the nailbed, the possibility of the ingrown toenail returning is very low to zero.

For some people, however, this treatment may not be enough. Repeat procedures may be needed every so often to treat the condition. In such cases, they may consider a more drastic surgical process like the Vandenbos procedure. In this procedure, the one that is targeted is the toe itself. The Vandenbos procedure is not commonly performed as it is a very destructive and invasive process. While the nail is completely untouched, part of the toe is eliminated on both sides of the nail. The toenail will look undamaged and intact, but a significant amount of tissue is removed. This is not only very uncomfortable, but can also take weeks to heal.

Surgery For An Ingrown Toenail

The Vandenbos procedure has been shown to be very effective, but its invasive nature has received criticism due to leaving the toes open to infection. Many patients also have reported no recurrence after undergoing the procedure. The Vandenbos technique, however, involves a longer recovery period compared to simply removing a sliver of the affected nail.

The pain and discomfort caused by an ingrown toenail cause many patients to consider all measures to stop their suffering. Surgery for an ingrown toenail is often the best way to treat an ingrown toenail at its root cause and prevent it from growing back again. There may be a lot of home remedies that you can use to get rid of the pain caused by this problem, but the relief you will get is only temporary. These remedies only alleviate the symptoms and don’t provide a long-lasting solution. However, before you consider more drastic measures to get rid of an ingrown toenail, it’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor about the best form of treatment for you.

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