Laser surgery is often a successful treatment for lesions, tumors and nail disorders. Laser treatments do not damage tissue in surrounding areas, are often painless, and allow patients to recover quickly. Two common conditions that are successfully treated with laser procedures are toenail fungus and warts.
Laser Toenail-Fungus Removal
Fungal toenails that do not respond to conventional treatments such as topical or oral medications are often effectively managed with a laser procedure. Certain lasers can precisely target the fungus and destroy it. The procedure is generally completed in 30 minutes to an hour.
Depending on the severity of the condition, some patients may require more than one laser-treatment session. The majority of patients can achieve optimal results by undergoing between one and four treatments. Visible results are not immediate; nails begin to look clear as they grow out in the months following treatment.
Laser Wart Removal
Warts on the foot (verruca or plantar warts) are noncancerous growths, caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), that develop on the soles of the feet. They can be successfully treated using a pulsed dye laser, which is especially effective on large warts that have grown internally, or spread to form a pattern of numerous warts.
For some patients, a local anesthetic is applied to the treatment area to numb it. The laser then precisely targets the blood vessels within the wart, which keeps nearby tissue from being harmed. The laser uses intense light energy delivered in rapid pulses to heat the capillaries that provide the wart's blood supply. This causes the blood vessels to seal, destroying the tissue within the wart. The number of treatments necessary varies depending upon several factors, including the size of the warts and how many there are. Frequently, the warts are eliminated within one to five laser sessions.
Patients are able to return to all normal activities immediately following treatment. For several days after the laser procedure, the treatment site may be somewhat uncomfortable. It may also remain slightly discolored for a number of weeks.