LASER THERAPY FOR FUNGAL TOENAILS
Now, by many requests from patients, WE HAVE ACQUIRED THE FDA APPROVED LASER; THE HYPERBLUE 1530 SYSTEM. This is approved for temporary clearing of fungus of the nail. The laser light penetrates through the nail and soft tissue to both kill fungus in its path, and promotes new nail growth. Once the living fungus is zapped by the laser, healthy nails begin to grow from the cuticle of the nail. This utilizes infrared radiation which is not painful and it is safe to gently heat the base of the nail. This area of the nail is where the fungus survives.
This system eradicates the fungus. It will require repeat visits for treatment over a 3 month period. The treatment is typically 5-15 minutes, spaced 30 days apart for 3 months. As the nail grows slowly, it can take approximately 6-12 months for the new nail to replace the old infected nail. It is VERY EFFECTIVE.
Clinical studies show that the laser kills toenail fungus and promotes clear nail growth with a single treatment in better than 80% of cases. The laser treatment is safe, effective, and most patients improve usually after their first treatment.
Laser nail treatment offers several advantages over alternative methods, such as prescription topical and oral drugs, both of which have had limited success. Oral Medications such as Terbinafine have a very effective kill rate of fungus as well as a successful clinical cure rate. But, many patients are reluctant to pursue this route due to the fact that it has side effects and can possibly elevate the liver enzymes which are checked prior and after one month of use of oral medications. Topical medications are effective but can take a long time to show results; i.e.: 1 year or more. Plus, topical medications have to be use twice a day, every day. Most patients are diligent for the first 2-3 months but most become non-compliant due to impatience. The positive side is there are very minimal systemic side effects with the use of topical medications. Topical medications work the best in conjunction with primary treatment of Laser.
There are several advantages of applying laser treatment to toenail fungus. They are:
- Safe, painless treatment
- No side effects or drugs
- No liver enzyme test required
- No recovery time - just walk in and walk out
- Only 15 minutes required to treat the toenail fungus on both feet, if all 10 nails are being treated.
After the treatment, there are certain protocols that must be followed at home to prevent the recurrence of the fungus. The nail must grow out completely to visualize the clearing. This treatment is very promising and many patients have had this laser treatment performed around the country. Our doctors at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Center, LLP perform the procedure, not an outside service, and are available right in our office located in Howell, NJ
How does the laser work?
The laser light causes a temporary increase in clear nails. At the time of the procedure, the toenail will not become instantly clear; it will take time to grow out.
What can I expect in the provider's office?
A consultation with your provider followed by the procedure being performed and any follow-up visits as prescribed.
Is the procedure painful?
Most people feel no pain, although some people have stated feeling a warming sensation.
Is there a recovery period?
No; just walk in and walk out.
How long does the procedure take?
The laser procedure takes less than 10 minutes.
Will the fungus come back?
Your provider will recommend care techniques to reduce recurrence of the infection. There is a chance of re-infection because the fungus is present everywhere in the environment. Preventative maintenance treatments are also recommended.
When can I paint my nails or have a pedicure?
It is important to remove all nail polish and nail decorations the day before your treatment. Following the treatment, polish can be applied immediately.
Is this covered by my insurance?
If you have a Health Savings Account or Medical IRA, 100% of the cost can be covered. However, in most situations, this procedure is considered aesthetic and therefore health insurance plans do not provide coverage.
Is it FDA cleared?
Yes, it is FDA cleared for the temporary increase of clear nail in patients with onychomycosis (toenail fungus).