1.What are anal warts?
Anal warts are small growths that affect the area around and inside of the anus. They start off as small growths very small in size and can grow to the size of a pea.
2.What are the symptoms?
Usually, they do not cause any discomfort or pain. However, they can be associated with itching, bleeding, mucus discharge, and the feeling of a lump in the anal region.
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is spread from person to person by direct contact. It is a an STD. Patients may transmit the virus during sexual intercourse. Heterosexuals and homosexuals are at risk. Anal intercourse is not necessary to spread the virus, although it is one cause.
4.Should they be removed?
Yes, otherwise they grow and multiply and lead to an increased risk of cancer.
5. What are the treatments available?
Depending on the size, there are many different treatments. IRC (see below), liquid nitrogen, topical antiviral medications, and surgery ranging from simple to more involved?
6.What treatment do you provide in your office?
Treatment of course is based upon the individual situation. Generally, we treat the lesions that are not surgical candidates (too large) with the IRC and a combination of topical antiviral treatment. Any surgical candidates will be evaluated by colorectal surgeon and we will work with them to formulate the best plan.
7.What is the IRC?
Infrared Coagulation was initially developed for the treatment of external anal warts, hemorrhoids, and tattoo removal. Treatment involves applying a probe that transmits heat (infrared) energy directly to the lesions. The heat does not burn but rather destroys the tissue. It is performed in our fully accredited office with minimal discomfort both during and after the procedure.
The procedure is performed by Board certified Gastroenterologists. The procedure lasts 5-10 minutes and is performed in our accredited office facility (We are accredited with AAAASF).
8.How many treatments are needed?
Recurrent warts are common. More than one treatment may be necessary depending on size, location, and potential for discomfort.
9.What is happens after the procedure?
Bleeding may be seen for 2-3 weeks after treatment. Post procedure pain meds are not usually needed although some discomfort is felt.
Constipation should be avoided and fluid consumption increased.
10.Is a followup visit needed?
Yes. A visit should be scheduled 2 months after treatment.
11.Can recurrence of warts be avoided?
Abstain from sexual contact with individuals with anogenital warts. Unfortunately, people are not always aware of the presence of these warts. Sexual partners of patients with warts should be checked.
12.What is the anal pap?
This is a screening exam to help detect the presence of any area of tissue that may be predisposed to develop anal cancer. All patients with anal warts should have this test. We work in conjunction with board certified colorectal surgeons to arrange these services.