Recalcitrant plantar wart surgery
Last update: 20 February 2021
The surgical excision of plantar warts serves to remove recalcitrant or recurrent warts (verruca). Surgery becomes necessary when conservative treatments fail to contain the warts, or if your condition does not allow treatment with pharmacological agents.
What are plantar warts?
Plantar warts are skin lesions that appear as a result of viral infection, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV).
While they can seem benign and often disappear on their own, plantar warts can also become quite large if not treated properly. Furthermore, they are contagious to those around you and can become very painful over time.
Luckily, there is no shortage of treatment options that can provide you with relief, and podiatric surgery remains only a last resort.
Who is at risk?
Generally, plantar warts are relatively harmless, however, they pose a higher risk of complications for the following types of patients:
- The elderly;
- Immunosuppressed people;
- People who sweat a lot;
- People with very dry skin.
Every patient’s needs will vary depending on their situation. For this reason, you should make sure to consult a podiatrist to benefit from a treatment adapted to your particular condition, as soon as possible.
What can patients expect from plantar wart surgery?
It is only natural that patients would want a podiatrist who is attentive and responsive to their needs. This podiatrist should take the time to explain that some small scarring may result from this treatment.
Of course, the podiatrist’s ultimate goal should be to stop the pain and help the patient remain active.
When should you resort to plantar wart surgery?
You should consider surgical excision of plantar warts as treatment if the wart returns or if the wart grows.
It is only when all other types of treatment have proven to be ineffective that a podiatrist resorts to this procedure. Your treating podiatrist knows exactly how to contain the spread of even the most stubborn warts.
Warts are capable of eventually developing into an infection that can lead to abscesses, cellulitis, or athlete’s foot, for those at higher risk. In order to avoid these complications, the podiatrist may perform minor foot surgery.
How to choose the right podiatrist to treat a plantar wart?
If you would like to benefit from the best expertise in plantar wart treatment, make sure to seek out a podiatrist who offers the following:
- Personalized support
A podiatrist should know exactly how to customize the surgical treatment to your condition. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and make sure the podiatrist has considered all your needs.
- A humane approach
It’s very important to benefit from the good aftercare and accessibility of your podiatrist. Additionally, you will enjoy the support of their warm and professional team.
You also need to be able to count on your podiatrist for a relationship that is built on trust and respect. They must be empathetic and able to explain everything to you in detail, before, during and after the surgery.
At PiedReseau, this is exactly what your podiatrists do every day to treat you in the best way possible.
A patient’s medical history is crucial
As with any good medical practitioner, the podiatrist must make good use of every patient’s medical history to determine the causes of plantar warts and to anticipate any potential complications. Only then will they be able to give you sound advice.
No podiatric treatment begins without a clinical examination confirming the patient’s pathology and assessing whether surgery will be required. In this part of the examination, the podiatrist evaluates the following points in order to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition:
- Your surgical history;
- Your medical history;
- Your vascular system;
- Your lifestyle;
- Your medications;
- Your allergies.
As mentioned earlier, plantar warts normally require treatments other than surgery. Therefore, your podiatrist would like to know what has already been tried and what can yet be attempted to solve your issue.
Here are some conservative treatments that can rid you of plantar warts:
- Prescription drugs;
- Cryotherapy for warts;
- Canthacur PS;
- Bleomycin sulfate injections;
- Liquid nitrogen treatment.
If your case proves to be very advanced and problematic, then surgery may finally be required.
The benefits of plantar wart surgery
Recalcitrant plantar wart surgery offers a number of benefits:
- It removes the most persistent plantar warts;
- It removes warts that resist other treatments;
- It avoids the need for medication;
- It renders the treatment considerably faster.
The benefits of surgical excision of plantar warts in podiatry
Plantar wart surgery can be unpleasant, however, it offers you many considerable benefits, both in the short and long term:
- You can quickly resume work;
- You can maintain your daily activities (although you may have to limit certain sports);
- You solve your problem for good;
- You keep your foot aesthetically pleasing.
Why choose a podiatrist for your plantar wart surgery?
Only a podiatrist has the necessary expertise to evaluate your condition and offer the best options for treating your plantar wart problems:
- They will make it easier for you to get assistance;
- They can recommend other medical professionals who can help you;
- They provide full support;
- They perform thorough follow-up examinations;
- They know how to prevent and control the possible complications of podiatric surgery.
Your podiatrist is well equipped to give you the proper treatment, explain your situation, and guide you through every step of the procedure.
Choosing PiedReseau offers you a number of benefits
Your PiedReseau clinics offer you the following benefits:
- Podiatry clinics all over Quebec;
- Quick contact with a podiatrist;
- Prompt assistance;
- Clear answers to your questions.
No matter where you may be in Quebec, a PiedReseau clinic will always be easily accessible to you. This is just one of the many benefits of entrusting your feet to a large network of professionals.
Plantar wart surgery procedure
For starters, you should be aware that there are 3 types of surgery for plantar warts, each with their own procedure.
- Curettage of warts:
Performed under local anesthesia, this surgical procedure sees the plantar wart scraped out to be manually removed. This procedure is reserved for particularly large plantar warts. Although this type of surgery is usually painless, it may leave a minor scar.
- Laser surgery:
The podiatrist destroys the blood vessels inside the plantar wart using a high-powered laser (whose beams are otherwise completely harmless). The wart thus recedes over time as blood is withdrawn from it. Sometimes, laser surgery requires several treatments. Mind you, each patient’s degree of photosensitivity will greatly affect the effectiveness of this procedure.
In this much rarer procedure, the wart is dried out and its tissue destroyed using a high-frequency electric current. Curettage can then be performed. You may have a scar as a result of this method.
Since all procedures are performed under local anesthesia, surgery for plantar warts is very quick. However, you could experience pain 1 to 3 weeks after surgery.
Step-by-step description of plantar wart surgery
Here is the complete detail of your treatment, before, during and after plantar wart surgery.
- The preoperative evaluation
Prior to surgery, the podiatrist will present you with the proposed treatment plan so there is nothing left unclear. This way, you can make an informed decision, considering all the facts at your disposal.
- Surgical preparation
Make sure you clean your foot very well within the last 24 hours.
- On the day of surgery
Take your medication one hour before surgery, depending on your podiatrist’s recommendations. Once you arrive at the clinic, the team will begin preparing you for surgery. They will make sure to keep you comfortable and administer a local anesthetic.
- Follow-up examinations and care at home
Your podiatrist will explain exactly what you need to do at home to ensure good results after the surgery. You will often be given a small cheat sheet to follow. You will also be scheduled for a follow-up appointment within 7 to 14 days after surgery.
Note that the treated foot should not be physically loaded during the healing process for the first few days.
How long do you recover after plantar wart surgery?
Generally, your recovery will take 1 to 3 weeks. As you recover, it is normal to experience a light amount of pain. After that, your foot should be completely healed.
When will I be able to resume my daily activities?
You can practice your daily activities during your recovery, however you should avoid sports.
Closely follow your podiatrist’s instructions
It is absolutely crucial that you carefully follow your podiatrist’s instructions before and after surgery. Keep in mind that everything you do after surgery will have a direct impact on your healing process.