Electrosurgery may be used to remove unwanted lesions such as longstanding, painful corns, growths and verrucae. Also in-growing nails can be treated electrosurgically.
It is a procedure done under local anaesthetic, a blunt probe is applied to the affected tissues that effectively causes seperation of the problem skin including the tissue causing the problem.
We will consider electrosurgery for corns only when correctly fitting footwear and conservative chiropody treatments have been employed.
For verrucae that are painful and unresponsive to conservative treatment, electrosurgery is a useful (and often successful) option.
Procedure if you are referred for electrosurgery
Your medical history will be checked ,and you will be given a local anaesthetic to numb the area that is to be treated. The corn or verruca is pared down in the usual way, with a scalpel. Electrodesiccation is then carried out by touching it with a small probe several times. This has the effect of drying out or 'desiccating' the unwanted tissue. It is then easily lifted away by the podiatrist, leaving a small wound. This will be dressed, and you will be asked to keep the dressing clean, dry and undisturbed. You will need to return for a re-dressing appointment in 2-5 days. The chiropodist will then advise you how to dress the wound until it has healed. Healing times vary considerably, and could be anywhere between 2 and 8 weeks. This time is reduced if the foot is rested for 24-48 hours immediately after treatment.
Are there any risks?
There is no guarantee that electrosurgery will resolve your problem. Some corns recur and a second treatment is necessary. As with any wound ,there is a small risk of infection: to avoid this, the wound should be kept clean and covered at all times. Excessive pressure on the wound immediately after treatment will delay healing. It will not be possible to play sport, and it is inadvisable to walk more than is necessary on the treated foot until it is healed.
Success rates are high in terms of pain relief.
The aim of treatment is to reduce or eradicate the need for regular chiropody treatment of the corn or verruca, and many patients have been very satisfied with the procedure.
At the appointment
Please bring a list of any current medical problems, and the names of any medication you are taking. Patients under 16 years of age will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. As you will need to rest the foot after treatment, we advise arranging a lift home, or a taxi can be ordered from reception.
Should you experience any unusual symptoms such as undue pain, coldness, swelling, or excessive bleeding, contact the clinic by telephone, or attend one of the emergency clinics. Alternatively consult your doctor or casualty department.