Ingrown nail surgery is the most common in office procedure we perform at Northeast Foot and Ankle. However, this procedure really seems to scare our patients. Often they wait until the nail becomes very painful, and even infected, to deal with the issue. The have a variety of reasons for waiting. We wanted to take a moment and address them because we don’t want you to wait!
I waited to come in because…
1. “I watched a YouTube video and it looked really awful so I didn’t want to come in”. We agree. There are some brutal videos out there. Please don’t watch them. We invite you to watch one of ours below (if you are into that sort of thing) but otherwise we honestly suggest that you JUST DON’T. It looks far worse than it really is.
2. “I had a bad experience at an ER/urgent care/primary care and I didn’t want to have to do it again.” Trust us, the discomfort you may have experienced in the past can often be lessened by our expertise because pain can vary greatly depending on how the numbing injection is delivered and how the procedure is performed.
3. “It’s going to hurt!” You will be given local anesthesia at the beginning of the procedure to numb the toe involved. This part is not comfortable (I’m not going to lie to you) but it takes about 45 seconds to numb up the toe. At PFA, we pride ourselves on trying to even make the injections as comfortable as possible. Once numb, you may feel pressure or movement but no pain. When done properly, by a podiatrist, nail surgery should be fairly low on the pain spectrum.
4. “It is never going to heal right or grow normally again!” The majority of nail surgeries performed heal without complications. Most people can’t even tell a nail surgery was done. Some of them occasionally require a second surgery soon after (or much later on down the road) but most only require one procedure. There is also a permanent procedure for “stubborn” (repeat ingrowns) where we cauterize the nail root (just in the corner of the ingrown), which allows the remainder of the nail to grow as normal but the ingrown portion does not grow back. Cosmetically this is barely noticeable if done properly.
5. “I tried a home remedy or something I saw on the internet first…” Cutting a “v” shape in the nail, or placing a piece of cotton at the corner, does not encourage the nail to grow any differently and will not relieve an ingrown. Don’t bother with DIY methods, ingrown nails can develop into an infection fast and you should see a doctor.
One of my favorite things about doing nail procedures is my patient’s reactions afterwards. Often I hear “that’s it?” or “you’re done already?”and even “wow! I didn’t feel anything after the numbing!” because it is that quick and painless (once you are numb)!
If you suspect that you have an ingrown nail or if you know that you have one and have been putting off professional treatment for it contact us now! Contact Us at Northeast Foot and Ankle in Portsmouth and Nashua, NH.