BERKLEY — While lasers have been used in surgery for more than 20 years by eye surgeons and other specialists, they have not been widely used in podiatry.

The podiatrists of NorthPointe Foot & Ankle have been certified in laser surgery and have found that many foot conditions can be greatly helped, or eliminated, by laser procedures.  To that end, the practice will begin offering laser surgery services to their patients at the NorthPointe office building on July 1.

“We know that laser surgery is a good option to treat certain foot conditions that may not have reacted well previously to other types of treatments,” said Dr. Charles Kissel, NorthPointe Foot & Ankle partner. “We are pleased to be able to offer our patients this technology in a comfortable office setting. They no longer a need to go to a hospital.”

Patients scheduled for laser surgery are usually given a local anesthetic for the procedure that averages between 15 and 30 minutes. This outpatient surgery will be performed in the new certified laser center adjacent to NorthPointe Foot & Ankle’s current office. The center provides Pulse Dye and CO2 Ultrapulse laser equipment. A certified technologist will also be present to manage the equipment.

“A laser is a device which generates an intense, finely focused beam of light, permitting surgery to be performed safely and conveniently for patients,” adds Kissel. “This laser turns the water in the cells to steam, called vaporization. There is no burning.”   The laser beam of light is used in place of the scalpel to remove warts, ingrown nails, infected toenails, and some deep-rooted calluses, among other foot problems. Lasers also allow faster healing for diabetic wounds.

Laser surgery takes advantage of the properties of lasers to remove tissue without many of the undesirable side effects that sometimes result from using a scalpel. The laser light vaporizes the affected tissues almost instantaneously and so precisely that normal surrounding tissue is not affected. The unique property of the laser is that as it vaporizes and destroys affected tissue, it also sterilizes and stops bleeding in the surrounding areas.   The result is much less tissue injury and swelling after surgery, which, in turn, results in less pain and discomfort. In addition, there is a cosmetic advantage because there is usually no scar formation after laser surgery. With the laser, it is frequently possible to complete treatment in one visit.

NorthPointe Foot & Ankle is located at 27901 Woodard Ave., Suite 110, in Berkeley.  Patients may request an appointment on line at, or call (248) 545-0100. Most insurances are accepted.


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