Anal Warts

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Anal warts (condyloma acuminata) are small growths that develop in and around the anus. Though they usually do not cause pain, they can grow larger and become cancerous over time.

With treatment at LA Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates, you can rid yourself of anal warts before they develop into a more serious problem.

What are Anal Warts?

Anal warts begin as small spots, but can grow pea-sized or larger if allowed to grow. Because they are typically asymptomatic, many patients may not even realize the affliction.

The cause of anal warts is likely the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is transmittable most commonly through sexual contact. Anal warts may also spread to the genital area (genital warts).

Diagnosis of Anal Warts

If you believe you have anal warts, an examination by your colorectal specialist can determine the extent of the condition. LA Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates will perform a routine inspection to confirm the presence of anal warts and devise the most effective treatment for your case.

Treatment of Anal Warts

Your treatment for anal warts will depend largely on the scope and location of the affliction.

  1. Medication. For most minor cases in which anal warts are relatively small and only present on the skin around the anus, medication is an effective treatment. This amounts to the application of a topical medication by your colorectal specialist, who will use great care to ensure that unaffected skin in the area is not damaged. Often, medication will need to be repeated over the course of several weeks to guarantee the effectiveness.
  2. Cautery or surgical intervention. When anal warts are present inside the anal canal, measures beyond medication will usually need to be taken. Electrical cautery and surgery are frequently performed to provide an immediate solution to anal warts, but may require an outpatient procedure under sedation.

Because the virus that causes anal warts can remain dormant in the body’s tissues, anal warts often recur even up to six months after treatment. This means that a single treatment will usually not permanently resolve the issue.

Initial treatments will likely take place every few weeks and decrease in frequency as the problem subsides. Follow-up appointments with your colorectal specialist are crucial even after the last wart has vanished to ensure that the problem does not come back.

Continued observation of the afflicted area is recommended long after your treatment has ended, as is the avoidance of sexual contact with others who suffer from anal or genital warts. Because anal and genital warts are often asymptomatic, complete sexual abstinence or an examination of sexual partners is recommended to prevent further exposure to the virus. Use of condoms may decrease exposure but do not prevent the disease. Treatment of anal warts is important as it is felt to be a possible precursor to development of anal cancer.

To learn more about treatment for anal warts, contact Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates today.

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