Treatment for Anogenital Warts in Rochester, NY

Anogenital warts, known medically as condyloma acuminatum, are benign growths caused by the human papilloma virus. The warty growth occurs after a variable incubation period which begins when the virus infects tissue. The incubation period can last months or even years after the infection occurs. Anogenital warts can be few and tiny or they can be large and multiple. They often cause irritation, itching, bleeding and discomfort. They may cause none of these symptoms. This virus is not known to cause warts in other parts of the body. Anogenital warts rarely go away (heal) without treatment.

Anogenital warts are commonly referred to as venereal warts because most often the infection begins with sexual contact. However, not all cases occur with sexual contact. Apparently the warm, moist environment of the anogenital area is a condition that allows papilloma virus to form warts.

You and your provider will determine the best form of treatment. For many early (few, small) infections, topical treatment with acid and/or medicated cream is sufficient. If the course of treatment is not effective, or your disease is extensive surgery may be suggested. This procedure is termed excision and fulguration of warts. The surgery is performed with electrocautery or laser. An overnight stay is not needed. Either local, spinal or general anesthesia is used.

Warts can occur in places you cannot see or feel such as just inside the anal opening, in the vagina and on the cervix. All patients should have an internal examination of the rectum. All women with anal warts, as well as partners of men with anal warts, should undergo pelvic examination by a gynecologist. You should abstain from sexual contact until all warts have been treated completely.

Excision and Fulguration of Anal Warts

When you and your doctor have decided that surgery is required for your warts, the type of anesthesia will be decided. You will go home that day regardless of which anesthesia is utilized. Potential problems after the procedure include: discomfort, bleeding, infection and recurrence. You will be given a prescription for pain medication. Soaking in warm water (sitz baths) should be performed at least three times daily and after bowel movements; this will provide relief from discomfort. You can expect spotting of blood and some drainage from the areas treated surgically. A dressing or protective pad will be needed until the wounds are healed. Complete healing takes weeks. There is great variability regarding the degree of pain and the time required for healing. Thus, it is impossible to predict the exact length of your recovery period.

Anogenital warts can recur. After treatment your doctor will tell you when all warts are gone. There can be no guarantee that the warts will not come back. You should return at
least once after all warts have been treated. Should you see or feel warts at any other time, you should be examined.

For any questions or concerns, please contact a physician at Rochester Colon and Rectal Surgeons.