This retrospective study analyzed marginal toenail ablation for ingrowing toenails and the factors affecting recurrences. Recurrence was defined as a return of the previous symptoms, regrowth of the nail edge, or patient dissatisfaction with the clinical outcome. Based on these criteria, nine patients (10.7%) were considered to have had a failed operation. There were significant differences for recurrence rate (p <.05) in the patients operated on under local anesthesia and in previously treated patients. Full exposure and excision of the germinal matrix were essential to avoid recurrence.