Depending upon the type of foot problem you may have, Hugar Foot & Ankle Specialists may recommend the use of one of our medical lasers to assist in the treatment process. We have been pioneers in the use of medical lasers since the introduction of the first podiatry-specific laser in 1987. Since that time we have updated our selection of medical lasers numerous times and have instructed many other physicians in the techniques of laser surgery. Following are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about laser surgery.
What is a LASER?
A laser is a device that generates an intense beam of light — light that is man-made and not known to occur in nature. There are many types of lasers producing different wavelengths of light that can be directed to the tissue that requires treatment.
What does a surgical LASER do?
A surgical “hot” laser can vaporize tissue almost instantaneously. It is so precise that he surrounding tissue is hardly affected. The beam sterilizes and seals blood vessels as it treats, so there’s less bleeding, less post-operative pain and less chance of post-operative infection than with conventional surgical tools. A “cool” laser does not cut through tissues but treats deeper areas beneath the skin without affecting the superficial layers. Your individual diagnosis will help determine which laser may be best utilized.
Is LASER surgery a new technique?
Not at all. Lasers have been used for over 25 years in many different kinds of surgery. Today, the technology is used for everything from removal of tonsils to treatment of infertility, cartilage damage, and scar tissue. Over the years laser use in podiatry has become quite common.
Does it hurt?
Many patients have reported that laser surgery is far less painful then conventional techniques. While most laser procedures require no anesthesia, depending upon the nature of your problem, you and your podiatrist may decide to numb the area with a local anesthetic before using the Laser.
Will I have to be hospitalized?
Laser surgery can often be performed in the office; and that is the case with many foot procedures. In fact, you will be able to walk out of the office as soon as the procedure is complete.
Is the LASER like an x-ray?
No. There is no ionizing radiation present in the laser beam.
Does pregnancy preclude LASER surgery?
No. In fact the laser allows some conditions, which could not safely be treated in other ways, to be treated during pregnancy.
How do I care for the treated area?
That will depend on the procedure and on your condition. Your podiatrist will give you after-care instructions for your particular case.
Will my insurance cover LASER surgery?
Some insurance companies recognize the benefits of laser surgery, so many laser surgery procedures are covered. Affordable payment plans can be arranged for those procedures that are not covered by an insurance plan.
SOME COMMON FOOT PROBLEMS TREATABLE WITH A LASER
Fungal nails: Infections of the toenails by a fungus similar to the one that causes athlete’s foot. If left untreated, it can spread to other areas of the foot and to the fingernails. The laser beam is ideal for treating the fungus; it’s quick, it sterilizes, and it helps destroy spores which could cause repeat infections.
Warts: Benign growths that can be painful and unsightly. Caused by a virus, they can spread to other areas of the foot or body if they are not treated. The laser beam can be used to treat warts and help obtain permanent relief when other methods have failed.
Chronic Pain: A newer area of laser use is in the treatment of chronic pain such as heel pain due to plantar fasciitis and chronic tendonitis. This application of our “cool” laser has been used around the world for many years.
Hugar Foot & Ankle Specialists include board certified podiatric surgeons who specialize in treatment of injuries & diseases of the foot & ankle. Laser procedures are routinely performed for many conditions in our office based setting. Our facility also includes an outpatient same day surgery center, an on-site X-Ray department, and physical therapy services.