Laser Treatment of Toe Nail Fungus


By: Dr. Robert J. Landy

January 31, 2012

How does the laser treatment work?

                Impulses of high laser power energy pass through the nail to the nail bed and nail growth area (nail matrix). There is typically no visible damage to the nail or surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure the fungus is apparently destroyed. However, no visible change is seen until the nail begins to grow out. In a few months, a more normal nail is expected to appear with complete regrowth of the nail taking up to 9 -12 months.

Is the procedure painful?   

Most people do not feel any pain. Some patients may experience slight warmth or an occasional snapping sensation during the procedure. If you have any pain during the procedure, the lase power can be decreased slightly to eliminate any pain. No anesthesia is required. No post treatment pain has been reported. You may resume all normal activities immediately.

How long does the procedure take?

                The amount of time varies on the degree of involvement of the nails. Very thick nails are mechanically reduced to a more normal thickness. The laser is then applied typically taking only a few minutes. Overall, a visit for consultation and treatment will usually take about 30 minutes.

Can the fungus return or not go away?

                The fungal infection is expected to improve with just one treatment. Clinical reports to date have been encouraging with most patients noticing significant improvement. As with all medical procedures, a guarantee is not possible. In addition, since fungus is present everywhere in the environment, reinfection may occur. There are preventative strategies to reduce the chance of reinfection. Changing socks and shoes frequently is helpful, as well as contolling excessive perspiration if present.

Can I polish my nails or have a pedicure?

                You can apply polish to the nail immediately after the laser treatment. However it is important to remove all nail polish prior to your treatment.

Is the laser treatment covered by my health insurance?

                Although some lasers are FDA approved for the treatment of toenail fungus, the procedure is considered cosmetic and is not covered by health insurance.

How much does the laser treatment cost?

                The cost varies depending on the number of nails involved and severity of the infection. The fee ranges from $300 for one nail and $750 if all nails are involved. A free consultation is provided to determine if you are a good candidate for laser treatment. The charges are based on the number of nails with obvious involvement. Follow up visits are provided during the first year at no charge.

                Please feel free to call the office with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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