According to the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center of North Texas, laser bunion surgery actually only uses a laser to cut the skin and potentially make small cosmetic changes to the surrounding area while the bunions themselves are fixed using traditional surgical saw instrumentation. After the laser is used to cut open the skin, the doctor uses saws and metal rods to cut the big toe joint back to a normal shape and reposition the bone to the correct alignment.
According to doctors Neal M. Blitz and Kevin D. Myer, "laser" bunion surgery is more of a marketing scheme than an actual different type of surgical procedure. Contrary to popular belief, bunions are not just growths on the foot that can be removed by super-precise cutting lasers. Instead, they are a result of the big toe joint being pushed away from its original alignment and pushing against the skin. Places that advertise "laser" bunion surgery actually only use a laser to make the initial skin incision, then they do a bunionplasty as it is traditionally performed.
Kevin D. Myer explains that a bunionplasty is performed by using a saw and alignment instrumentation to cut the big toe joint and realign it so that it does not stick out of the side of the foot. Whether the treatment is considered a "laser" bunion surgery or just a normal bunionplasty, the recovery time is around 6 to 8 weeks.