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Advanced Podiatry Services, Dr. Howard Penn, Lackawanna, NY

Laser Treatment of Nail Bed Fungus

What are my options?

Successful treatment of fungus of the nail unit may reduce thickness, improve appearance, and make trimming easier. However, treatment is not generally considered medically necessary unless other factors are present such as diabetes, poor circulation, excessive pressure, or lack of normal sensation.

Options include:

  • Not having treatment and living with the condition
  • The use of liquid antifungals such as prescription Penlac which reports a 7% cure rate and 44% improvement rate.
  • The use of prescription oral Lamisil which reports up to a 66% success rate with need for blood tests to monitor for possible liver damage.
  • Laser treatment

How does the laser treatment work?

Dr. Penn uses a Q-Switched NdYAG laser which is one of the most advanced dermatologic lasers currently available. In 3-10 billionths of a second, impulses of high power laser energy pass through the nail to the nail bed and nail growth area with typically no damage to the nail or surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure the fungus is expected to be 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.

What is the recovery period?

No post treatment pain has been reported. You may resume all normal activities immediately. If you have any questions or problems, please contact our office.

Is the procedure painful?

Most people do not feel any pain. Some patients may experience slight warmth or occasional snapping sensation during the procedure. If you have any pain during the procedure, the laser power can be decreased slightly to eliminate any pain. No anesthesia is needed.

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 with specialized equipment. 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 100% guarantee is not possible. In addition, since fungus is present everywhere in the environment, reinfection may occur. Dr. Penn will recommend preventative strategies to reduce the chance of reinfection. Changing socks and shoes frequently is helpful, as well as controlling 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?

No, the procedure is considered cosmetic and is not covered by any health insurance.

How much does laser treatment cost?

The cost varies depending on the number of nails involved and severity of the infection. The national average for laser treatment is between $500 and $1200. However, since our practice offers the most state-of –the-art laser equipment, we can provide the most effective treatment in less time and at a reduced cost. Our fees range between $295 and $565. A free consultation can be provided to determine if you are a good candidate for laser treatment. Please refer to our fee schedule for costs. The charges are based on the number of nails with obvious involvement. Follow up visits are provided during the first year at no charge. Payment plans are available through CareCredit.




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Advanced Podiatry Services
Howard A. Penn, D.P.M.
1271 Ridge Road
Lackawanna, NY 14218
Tel: 716.824.9835
Fax: 716.827.7095
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