Men's Health

Excision and Laser Surgery of Genital Warts

Excision and Laser Surgery of Genital Warts

Key Takeaways

  • Your doctor may suggest to you excision removal method if you have a cluster of small, hardened warts.
  • Your doctor may suggest to you laser surgery if you have large warts that are present deep inside your anus or urethra.
  • There are certain risks associated with both the treatments.

Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is transmitted usually when two people get physically intimate with each other. Affecting both men and women, the side effects of genital warts are more serious and vulnerable for women. Asymptotic genital warts often go away on their own without any treatment after some time. However, if the warts are visible and causing itching or discomfort, you can get them removed by topical applications or physical ablation techniques. Occurring usually as soft growths and bumps on the genitals, the treatment to cure this ailment is not very complicated, but one must make sure that the underlying infection is also treated, otherwise there are chances that the warts might re-appear later in life. Excision and laser surgery are two such techniques used by healthcare professionals to remove warts from the genital areas. Let’s learn more about these treatments in detail:

Excision

Your doctor may suggest to you an excision removal method if you have a cluster of small warts that are hard to the touch. These warts combine together to form a cauliflower-like shape and may cause itching and discomfort if not treated on time. In this procedure, the doctor cuts away the warts using a surgical knife called scalpel. Warts on the cervix can be treated by laser or loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP). The remaining incision is sealed with sutures (stitches). The procedure is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic or an outpatient surgery centre. Since the treatment is painful, it is done after numbing the area around the warts with local anesthesia. Opting for a surgery can be one of the wisest decisions to remove warts that may otherwise return after instilling other class of treatments. It also may be recommended when the warts are widespread. To bring this situation to a halt and prevent the warts from spreading, a single surgical treatment may be all that is required.

 

What to expect after the surgery?

After the treatment, it is common to experience tenderness and soreness for around one to three weeks at the site where warts were removed. Most people return back to their normal life within a day or two, while there are still others who take longer time to heal. The recovery time depends on the location and number of warts removed. There are high chances that scarring may also occur because of the surgery.

Risks associated with Excision

There are certain risks associated with excision method. Call your doctor immediately if:

  • There is bleeding that lasts longer than a week
  • You have severe pain
  • You have a fever
  • You’re noticing any bump or irregular mark budding on your body after the surgery
  • You experience yellowish bad-smelling discharge. This may be an indication of infection.

 

Consulting your doctor at the right time will help him diagnose the situation in a better and more relevant way. It will also help in putting a full stop to the infection by preventing the infection from spreading in the body.

Laser Surgery

A laser can be used to destroy genital warts. Even your doctor may suggest to you laser surgery if you have large warts. The warts that are located deep inside your anus or urethra are hard to access. Such kinds of warts are removed with laser surgery. The whole process may take place in a doctor's office or clinic, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery centre.  In this procedure, the doctor uses a laser device to destroy the cells of genital warts. This treatment is also done after numbing the area around warts with the local anesthesia, depending on the number of warts to be removed or the size of the area to be treated. For women, abnormal cervical cell changes caused by HPV will be managed differently than genital warts caused by HPV. To cure this, the doctor may recommend certain varied types of surgery, among which the best type is the laser surgery, as it provides the best treatment in situations where medicine proves to show no positive results benefitting the body or the prevailing situation where warts, instead of vanishing, start spreading more and more, especially during pregnancy. Laser surgery is the safest treatment for pregnant women. An advantage of laser surgery is that adjacent and deep tissue is not damaged during laser treatment.

 

What to expect during the surgery?

After the treatment, it is common to experience soreness for around one to three weeks at the site where warts were removed. The recovery time depends on the location and number of warts removed. However, the general healing time is 2 to 4 weeks.

Risks associated with laser surgery

There are certain risks associated with laser surgery too. Call your doctor immediately if you witness any of the following signs:

  • There is bleeding that lasts longer than a week
  • You have severe pain
  • You’re noticing any bump or irregular mark budding on your body after the surgery
  • You have a fever
  • You experience yellowish bad-smelling discharge. This may indicate an infection.

 

Again, consulting your doctor at the right time will help him diagnose the situation in a better and more relevant way. It will also help in putting a full stop to the infection by preventing the infection from spreading in the body.

Remember, treating genital warts using these techniques can remove the visible warts, but not the HPV infection that is the root cause of the problem. The virus may still remain in the body in an inactive state after warts are removed. Moreover, a person treated for genital warts may still be able to spread the infection. Although condoms may help reduce the risk of HPV infection, they might not guarantee controlling the wart from transmitting, as it fails to protect the entire genital area against skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, even after these procedures, there are some chances of genital warts recurrences. Talk to your doctor to understand the benefits and effectiveness along with risks and limitations of each type of procedure.