Condyloma Acuminata (anal warts)
Anal warts are small growths around the anal area caused by the human papilloma virus – the same virus responsible for genital warts. It can take as little as 30 days and up to 6 months or longer for a person to develop anal warts after becoming infected with the virus. Also known as condyloma, these warts may begin growing externally and internally within the anus and lower rectum. People with anal warts should visit a colorectal surgeon for an examination to confirm a diagnosis and establish a plan for treatment.
Did you know…
that anal warts are a preventable condition? Since they are transmitted through sexual contact, partners can lower their risk of infection by using barrier methods, such as condoms. Another effective way of protecting against the spread of anal warts is by getting the HPV vaccination, which helps protect against many types of human papilloma virus known to cause these growths. Of course, the most effective way of protecting against anal warts is by abstaining from sexual contact if a partner is visibly symptomatic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of anal warts?
Patients who have anal warts here may have no other symptoms aside from the warts themselves. Anal warts initially present as very tiny growths that eventually grow to cover much or all of the anal area. Small warts typically are not painful, though they may begin to itch, bleed or cause a mucus discharge as they grow over time. Internal anal warts may feel uncomfortable and resemble the feeling of a mass in the lower rectum.
How do colorectal surgeons treat anal warts ?
Treatment for anal warts varies according to their size and severity. Small warts may respond well to in-office cauterization or topical solutions applied from the comfort of a physician’s office. When anal warts are especially large, they may be removed by way of an outpatient surgical procedure.
Will surgery cure my anal warts?
Since anal warts are caused by a virus, one treatment is typically not enough to cure the condition. While the warts may be successfully removed, the HPV virus may remain within the tissues, causing additional warts to recur in the future. However, follow-up visits with your doctor will help identify new warts when they first appear and are more easily treated in a physician’s office.