Laser Surgery for Warts
Laser surgery uses an intense beam of light,
or laser, to burn and destroy the wart tissue. It is usually done in a doctor's
office or clinic.
Local or general anesthetic may be used, depending on
the number of
warts to be removed or the size of the area to be
What To Expect After Surgery
The wound will be painful for a few
days after laser surgery. Recovery time depends on the location and number of
After laser surgery, call your doctor if you
- Bleeding that lasts longer than 1
- A fever.
- Severe pain.
- Bad-smelling or
yellowish discharge, which may mean an infection. Cleaning the wound area
helps prevent infection.
Why It Is Done
Laser surgery may be considered
- Medicine has failed, and it is necessary to
remove the warts.
- Warts are large or widespread.
need to be treated during pregnancy. Your doctor will recommend when treatment
should be done during pregnancy.
How Well It Works
Pulsed dye laser works about the
same for wart removal as cryotherapy and cantharidin.1
There is a slight risk of infection associated
with laser surgery. Signs of infection include:
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness,
- Red streaks extending from the area.
- Fever of
100°F (37.8°C) or higher with
no other cause.
What To Think About
- Normally causes no
- Is more expensive than
most other methods of wart removal.
- Is not recommended as an
- Is usually used for large, hard-to-cure
There are concerns that laser treatment may increase the
risk of having warts return by destroying the local immune system, allowing
inactive viruses to become active.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
Luk NM, Tan YM (2007). Warts (non-genital), search
date November 2006. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence. Also available online:
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
||September 2, 2010