Updated: Spring 2014
Laser therapy is the newest treatment we offer for fungal toenails and effectively kills the fungus and clears the nails in many patients. The laser works by penetrating the nail plate and destroys the fungus under the nail. There is no pain and no side effects. Best results and the best looking toenails occur with three laser sessions and the use of specific protocol. Read here how you can get the best results from your treatment.
How to Get Started
Contact us for an appointment. Your first visit will be for a complete history and evaluation of your condition. If you have thick, fungal or painful toenails, this evaluation visit is almost always a covered insurance benefit. The evaluation visit is critical because there are many causes of thick and yellowed nails, and the best treatment will depend on your diagnosis. Not all thick nails are caused by fungal infection. Before we can determine if laser treatment would be effective for you we may need to take a sample of your nail to send for a lab test to determine if fungus is present. Information on other causes of thick nails is available here.
If we determine that laser treatment would likely be effective for you, we will schedule you for your laser treatment. On that visit, the following will occur:
- Toenails are thinned using a special toenail grinder
- Toenails are treated with the laser. The big toenails require about two minutes and the small nails about one minute. Total procedure is less than 30 minutes and there is no pain.
- You will be given detailed instructions on preventing reinfection of the nails.
- For best outcomes, laser treatment will be repeated at 3 months and at 6 months.
Is the Treatment Covered by Insurance?
All insurance companies consider laser therapy a cosmetic procedure and do not cover the service. Most insurance carriers will, however, cover your initial visit for evaluation and diagnosis of your nail problem.
What is the Cost of Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails?
Our philosophy is to keep the cost as low as possible and include all treatment in your initial fees so there are no surprises. The most effective outcomes are achieved with a total of three treatments and all three treatments are included in the total cost of $590. You may see treatment advertised for less, but these prices are for only one treatment, which has not been shown be to as effective as the three treatment protocol. Although the laser treatment will not be covered by insurance, your initial visit, when we determine if you are a good candidate for laser therapy, can be billed to your insurance and normal co-pays will apply. If you do not have insurance coverage the evaluation visit cost is $109.
How Effective is Laser Treatment of Nail Fungus?
You may see some clinics advertising success rates over 80%. We even heard of one clinic claiming 100% success. These people are not telling the truth and we advise you to avoid anyone who makes these claims. The truth is that current studies show success rates ranging from 50% to 80% but most of these studies are currently inconclusive. There is strong evidence that no treatment for nail fungus works more than 70% of the time. We estimate success with the laser to be around 60 – 70%, but again, current studies are somewhat unclear. Sign up for our toenail laser newsletter to be kept updated on any new studies on toenail fungus treatment.
Why are we the Best Clinic in the Seattle Area for Nail Laser Treatment?
- We will confirm that you have a fungal infection before treating you. There are many causes of thick nails and the laser only works if a majority of the nail problem is caused by a fungal infection. About 30% of the patients that come in requesting laser treatment of fungal nails would not benefit from the procedure. If we don’t think the laser will work for your condition we will let you know so that you don’t waste money on ineffective treatment.
- Our GenesisPlus Laser has the best results in current studies. There are many lasers available marketed for treating nail fungus – some work well to treat fungus and others don’t work at all. Read here why the GenesisPlus Laser is the most effective laser available for nail fungus.
- Better outcomes and better looking toenails. There is evidence that patients see better results when they have three treatments rather than one. We include the all three laser sessions in our treatment protocol at no additional cost.
- Lowest cost per session in the Seattle area. Most patients have the best clearing of nails with three laser sessions, each separated by three months. Our price of $590 includes all three sessions with no additional treatment costs. Our GenesisPlus Laser is almost twice the cost of some of the other lasers in the area. We purchased a high end laser to obtain the best results possible.
- We treat all 10 toenails: A British study that came out a few years ago showed that in people with some thick toenails due to fungus, fungus was often found even in the normal looking toenails. Based on this study we suggest treating all 10 nails, even if some of them look normal. This helps prevent reinfection. Treatment of all 10 nails is included in the $590 cost.
- We will provide realistic expectations of the success of all treatment options. If we do not think laser is the best option for you we will let you know.
- Initial visit: This visit is for evaluation and to determine if you are a candidate for laser treatment. This visit is covered by most insurance carriers. If you are a good candidate for laser treatment you will be scheduled for your first treatment.
- Treatment #1: At this visit the nails are thinned and the first laser treatment is performed. You are given detailed instruction on preventing reinfection
- Treatment #2 (3 months): This visit is performed 3 months after treatment #1. The nail is thinned again and laser treatment is performed again.
- Treatment #3 (6 months): This treatment is performed 6 months after treatment #1 Final laser treatment and review of preventing re-infection.
Just like getting a strep throat or other infection, curing the infection will not prevent you from getting infected again. In fact, there seems to be a genetic predisposition to getting a fungal nail infection, so if you get it once you are prone to getting it again. You can read more here about preventing reinfection of nail fungus on our site.
Contact us today to make an appointment to find out if you are a good candidate for laser treatment for nail fungus.