Nailed It

In-office laser therapy is “weapon of choice” against pesky toenail fungus.

Somewhere on the list of most difficult things to do in life is growing orchids. As Tami* can tell you, growing an orchid or just keeping one alive until it blooms again requires a lot of care and a whole lot of patience.

“You need to find just the right place for them, and even then, you might wait a year or more for the rewards,’’ Tami says. “A lot of times, you just cross your fingers and hope for the best. You just never really know.”

Tami is no stranger to crossing her fingers and hoping for the best. A 59-year-old registered nurse, she spent the better part of the last seven years doing just that in her personal battle with toenail fungus.

“I have no idea how it started, but I tried everything to get rid of it with no luck,’’ Tami laments. “I tried trimming it back and even went to a podiatrist who prescribed ointments and other topical stuff. Nothing worked.

“I eventually went to another podiatrist who tried a laser treatment, but that didn’t work either. I was so frustrated I was ready to just have the nail removed, but then I read an article in Florida Health Care News about a different doctor and decided to give her a try.”

That doctor is Dawn Chiu, DPM, of Sarasota Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Chiu first saw Tami a little less than a year ago, when she recommended treating Tami’s toenail fungus using PinPointe FootLaser® therapy.

Dr. Chiu refers to PinPointe FootLaser therapy as her “weapon of choice” in the battle against toenail fungus because it kills the underlying fungus without causing side effects and does not require patients to take a blood test prior to treatment.

“It’s an in-office treatment that lasts only a few minutes,” Dr. Chiu explains. “During that time, I pass the laser over the nail in a crisscross pattern to ensure full coverage. Patients usually feel a warmth on their toe during the treatment, but there’s no pain.”Before and after images courtesy of Sarasota Foot and Ankle Center.

Once the treatment is completed, patients can immediately resume normal activities. When combined with topical ointments, the laser treatment has an 80 percent success rate, according to Dr. Chiu, who counts Tami among those successes.

“Dr. Chiu gave me one laser treatment, that’s all, and that’s all I needed,’’ Tami says. “That treatment didn’t cure me instantly, but every month after that, I could see my toenail getting better and better. Now, I have no fungus whatsoever.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am about that, because I’m serious when I say I was ready to have that toenail cut off. I was at that point, but Dr. Chiu told me there was no need to do that because this laser treatment will work.

“She said as long as I followed her directions for using the topical ointment and wore the right shoes, I’d be fine, and she was right. I owe her big-time for what she did for me and rave about her and the PinPointe laser treatment to anyone.”

*Patient’s name withheld at her request.
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