Anal Warts

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What are anal warts?

Initially an anal wart is a tiny growth on the skin around or inside the anal opening. It may grow larger and if untreated can reach a significant size.

What are the causes of anal warts?

Anal warts are a sexually transmitted disease that is secondary to infection by human papilloma virus (HPV) which is transmitted from person to person by direct contact.

Do these warts always need to be removed?

Yes. If untreated they can reach a very large size and can frequently multiply. There is also an increased risk of cancer in the involved area.

What treatments are available?

Very small external warts can be treated with topical agents or liquid nitrogen. Larger warts or warts located inside the anal canal are removed surgically under general, regional or local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure.

What is the likelihood of a recurrance of anal warts?

Unfortunately the recurrence rate of warts is very high. The causative virus can live dormantly in the adjacent tissues that appear normal for several months before another wart develops.

How long is treatment usually continued?

Follow-up visits are recommended for several months after the surgery.

What can be done to avoid getting anal warts?

Avoid sexual contact with individuals who have anal (or genital) warts, avoid promiscuity, and always use a condom during sexual intercourse.