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Electrodesiccation for the treatment of corns and verrucae.

Electrosurgery is widely used in medicine for the treatment of skin conditions such as warts and birthmarks, cardiac surgery, Eye surgery and Plastic surgery. Over the past decade, a form of electrosurgery, electrodesiccation has been used in Chiropody/Podiatry to treat long-standing corns and verrucae.


Radiofrequency surgery should not be confused with conventional electrosurgery (diathermy, cautery) which involves the application of a heated electrode to the skin. Radiofrequency surgery uses very high frequency radio waves transmitted between a small electrode and a plastic coated antenna plate. This induces heat within the cells in contact with the electrode. Moisture within these cells is vaporised causing cell destruction and tissue division. Unlike conventional electrosurgery, in Radiofrequency surgery the electrode remains cold.

Electrodesiccation is completely painless and to ensure this an injection of local anaesthetic is given before the treatment begins. A small probe is held against the corn or verruca. The energy from the radiowaves causes evaporation of the cell contents, which then form a hard plaque and is removed with a scalpel.

The Procedure

On the day of your operation you should eat and drink as normal. You will be awake for this procedure, which involves the administration of local anaesthetic injection adjacent to the nerves supplying the area to be treated. The radiolase is then used to remove the infected tissue. Antiseptic dressings are applied and a pressure-relieving pad applied (if the area is weight bearing). You should arrange for transport as you will not be allowed to drive on the day of this procedure.

The appointment time required for this treatment is 1 to 1-1/2 hours. It is advisable to rest the foot for the remainder of the day of operation and the following day as much as possible. A follow up appointment 2 - 3 days later is required for the wound to be redressed. The wound must be kept covered and remain dry for 1 week.
There is some post-operative discomfort/ pain, which is usually relieved with paracetamol. The wound is usually dry with a scab formation within 2 weeks. This depends on the size of area treated

Healing takes place over the next few weeks depending on how much rest you are able to take and provided the wound remains free from infection. The wound normally forms a scab 10-14 days post-op depending on the size of the wound. You may have to return to your Podiatrist in four to six weeks to have any remaining scab reduced.

The procedure will take about an hour and subsequent dressings should take no longer than 15 minutes. There may be some discomfort during the first few hours after the treatment but using your preferred analgesic (painkiller) can relieve this. Most patients are able to return to work after 24 hours. The majority of verrucae cases are completely eradicated in one treatment (94%) with the remaining (6%) lesions requiring a second treatment. After the procedure



There are complications, which may arise from the use of electrosurgery


There are some contraindications to treatment with radiolase these include:

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