Laser Foot and Ankle Surgery
Just the thought of laser surgery brings to mind Star Trek and Star Wars. While we can’t beam someone up, the medical advances made with lasers are great.
In 1984, when I started doing laser surgery of the foot and ankle, the only laser used was the CO2 laser. Today, I use the CO2 laser, the ND: YAG, the Holmium, and the Pulsed Dye Laser. Each laser has its own purpose.
What is a laser? The word laser is an acronym, which stands for:
A mplification by
E mission or
Simply put, it is a beam of light. However, a laser has different mediums.
Lasers can be made from gas, liquid, or solids. The element is usually stimulated by electricity and emits a light beam. Since all lasers are not the same, the beam emitted serves a different purpose. When you consider laser surgery, it is important for your doctor to have training and knowledge of multiple lasers. For example, warts can be treated with three different types of lasers: the CO2, the Pulsed Dye, and the ND: YAG. Each laser treats the wart in different ways, so it is vital that your doctor is knowledgeable in the uses of each laser.
Is Laser Surgery a New Technique?
No. Since the first laser appeared in 1960, lasers have evolved and have been used for removing cancer, tattoos, treating back disc problems, varicose veins and much more. Lasers in podiatry have become more common, especially to treat fungal nails. Over the years, laser surgery in podiatry has advanced to warts, neuromas, foot and ankle tumors, bunions, accelerated tissue healing, ingrown nails and much more.
Many patients have reported that laser surgery is less painful than conventional techniques. Depending on your problem, anesthesia may be required.
Is laser like an X-Ray?
No, with lasers there is no ionizing radiation, so there is no danger of radiation exposure.
Where is laser surgery done?
Laser surgery can be done in the office, or the hospital’s outpatient department depending on your condition and the laser that is needed.
Is laser Surgery covered under my insurance?
It will depend on your condition, insurance policy and the laser used. Check with your physician.