How Much Does Ingrown Toenail Surgery Cost?

Last Updated on February 29, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and lead to costly complications if left untreated. While home remedies may provide temporary relief, surgery is often necessary for complete removal and prevention of recurrence.

But how much does ingrown toenail surgery cost? Here’s a comprehensive overview of the typical pricing, factors that influence costs, insurance coverage, choosing the right provider, and tips for financial preparedness.

How Much Does Ingrown Toenail Surgery Cost?

The cost of ingrown toenail surgery typically ranges from $250 to $1500 per nail, with most people paying somewhere between $500 to $1,000. The type of procedure, anesthesia, clinic fees, surgeon qualifications, and geographic location all impact the final price tag. Those with health insurance can expect to pay a portion of that fee out-of-pocket depending on their plan.

On MDsave, the cost of ingrown toenail surgery, also known as ingrown toenail removal, can vary based on the location and the type of procedure. The average cost is around $250 for a partial nail avulsion and $490 for a full nail avulsion. Additional costs may include anesthesia, which can range from $50 to $70, and post-operative care, which is typically billed at $68 per visit.

Entire Podiatry writes that ingrown toenail surgery costs can range from $250 to $500, depending on the type of procedure. A partial nail avulsion costs $250, while a full nail avulsion costs $500. Additional costs may include anesthesia, which is an additional $50, and post-operative care, which is billed at $68 per visit.

According to Ingrown Toenail Clinics, the cost of ingrown toenail surgery can vary based on the type of procedure. A partial nail avulsion costs $420, while a full nail avulsion costs $490. Additional costs may include anesthesia, which is included in the base price, and post-operative care, which is billed at $68 per visit.

Why Surgery May Be Necessary

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the surrounding skin, leading to pain, redness, swelling, and even infection. It commonly affects the big toe and can result from improper nail trimming, tight shoes, injury, or abnormalities in the nail or toe.

While mild cases may be treated at home with soaks and better nail care, severe or recurring ingrown toenails often require surgical removal for a permanent solution. Surgery becomes essential if the ingrown nail causes persistent pain or leads to serious infection.

Procedure Types and Anesthesia

The specific ingrown toenail surgery procedure depends on the severity and how much of the nail needs removal. The main options include:

  • Partial nail removal (onychectomy) – just the ingrown section is excised
  • Total nail removal (total nail avulsion) – the entire nail is extracted
  • Chemical matrixectomy – using phenol to permanently stop nail regrowth

Local anesthesia is typically used to numb the toe before surgery. For partial extractions, the ingrown section is freed from the skin using a scalpel or laser. With total removal, the entire nail is detached and pulled out. For matrixectomies, phenol is applied to the nail root to prevent regrowth.

After surgery, the toe is bandaged and must be kept clean and dry during the recovery period, which takes 2-3 weeks. Antibiotics may be prescribed if infection is present. Swelling, stiffness, and mild pain are normal initially but should resolve. Total nail removal and matrixectomies have a longer healing time.

Factors That Influence the Cost

Several key factors account for the wide price range of ingrown toenail surgeries:

  • Extent of removal – Total avulsions and matrixectomies cost more than partial procedures
  • Use of phenol – Chemical matrixectomy adds $200 or more to the surgical fee
  • Location – Prices are higher in hospital versus clinic settings
  • Geographic region – Costs vary based on where you live
  • Surgeon qualifications – Board-certified surgeons are pricier than general podiatrists
  • Anesthesia – Some use general anesthesia for higher fees
  • Additional treatments – Antibiotics for infections or laser treatments can increase costs

Insurance, Bills & Payments

Most health insurance plans cover ingrown toenail removal, but coverage varies:

  • Deductibles and copays apply – You must pay these costs out of pocket
  • Preauthorization may be required – Approval from your insurer needs to be obtained first
  • Not all providers may be in-network – Using out-of-network doctors costs more
  • Non-surgical treatments aren’t covered – Initial exams, soaks, or debridement incur self-pay fees

If uninsured, ask if the surgical center has payment plans, financial assistance, or can provide a discounted rate. Health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow you to pay using tax-free funds.

Choosing the Right Podiatrist

Selecting an experienced podiatrist is key to getting quality ingrown toenail surgery at a fair price:

  • Verify credentials and training – Look for board certification in podiatric surgery
  • Check reviews and referrals – Speak to satisfied patients and ask for references
  • Schedule a consultation – Meet with the surgeon to discuss your specific case
  • Evaluate the surgical center – Ensure the facility meets quality and safety standards
  • Compare costs – Get quotes upfront from different providers to find affordable options

Also read our articles on the cost of surgeries to fix foot corn, bunion, and brachymetatarsia.

Doing your research helps avoid unqualified surgeons and excess charges. Always get cost estimates in writing before scheduling any procedure.

Preparing for Surgery

Ingrown Toenail Surgery CostThese tips will help you get ready for ingrown toenail removal and ensure the best results:

  • Follow all preoperative instructions from your podiatrist, like avoiding certain medications
  • Arrange transportation and** plan for time off** work during initial recovery
  • Keep the surgical area clean and dry to prevent infection beforehand
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes to accommodate bandages
  • Fill any prescriptions ahead of time so you have pain meds ready
  • Review postoperative care guidelines so you know what to expect for healing

Thorough preparation leads to less anxiety and smoother recovery.

Final Words

Ingrown toenail surgery provides reliable relief when home treatments fail. While costs can range widely, factors like procedure extent and insurance coverage account for the differences in price.

With some research and financial planning, you can find an experienced, reasonably-priced podiatrist for the surgery. Addressing severe or recurring ingrown nails is worth the investment to resolve pain, avoid complications like infection, and get back to comfortable everyday activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth removing an ingrown toenail?

Yes, it is usually worth surgically removing an ingrown toenail that is causing persistent pain, inflammation, or infection. The procedure can provide permanent relief and prevent future recurrence when conservative treatments fail.

Surgery is quick and minimally invasive. It provides a long-term solution and improves quality of life by resolving symptoms.

Is it OK to live with an ingrown toenail?

It’s generally not recommended to just live with a symptomatic, painful ingrown toenail long-term. Without treatment, the inflammation and swelling can worsen over time. A serious infection may develop, spreading to the whole toe or foot and potentially becoming life-threatening.

Permanent nail or tissue damage can also occur. Removing problematic ingrown nails surgically eliminates these risks.

What is Stage 2 of an ingrown toenail?

Stage 2 of an ingrown toenail involves swelling, redness, throbbing pain, and discharge of pus or blood. The area is infected. Antibiotics are generally needed along with surgical removal in Stage 2 cases.

Living with an infected ingrown nail can have serious consequences like osteomyelitis (bone infection), so prompt medical treatment is important.


  • Anesthesia: Medications used to numb sensation during medical procedures
  • Avulsion: Forcible removal or detachment
  • Copay: Fixed amount you pay for a health care service per visit or procedure
  • Deductible: Annual amount you must pay out-of-pocket before insurance begins contributing
  • Matrixectomy: Destruction of the nail root to prevent regrowth
  • Onychectomy: Surgical removal of part or all of a nail
  • Podiatrist: Doctor who specializes in conditions related to the feet


American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: Ingrown Toenail Procedures

Hopkins Medicine: Ingrown Toenail Removal

American Podiatric Medical Association: Find a Podiatrist

Healthcare.gov: Health Insurance & Financial Help

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