Anal Warts or Condyloma
Anal warts or condyloma acuminata are growths in or around the anal canal and/or skin in the genital area caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is considered the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD). Anal intercourse is not necessary to develop anal warts. HPV can be transmitted by any contact to the anal area either by hand contact or secretions from a sexual partner, either recently or many years ago, even if the warts have just recently developed.
Anal warts may be diagnosed on anal or rectal exam by your doctor or found on a biopsy during anoscopy or colonoscopy.
What are the symptoms of anal warts?
Many patients may have no symptoms related to anal warts because they usually do not cause pain or discomfort. Some patients may experience symptoms such as itching, bleeding, mucous discharge and or a feeling of a lump or mass in the anal area.
What is the treatment of anal warts?
Left untreated, warts usually grow larger or multiply. There is also a rare but increased risk of anal cancer in patients with anal warts.
Treatment includes topical agents that can be applied directly to the anal area including Imiquimod (Aldara) or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and surgical procedures including exam under anesthesia (EUA) with excision, fulguration (destruction), or a combination of both to treat larger warts. If your warts are extensive, surgery may be performed in stages to minimize discomfort. Surgery is usually performed as outpatient or same-day surgery. Time needed off work may be anywhere from 1 day to weeks depending on your pain tolerance and the extent of the area treated.
Recurrent warts are common. Close follow-up with Dr. Zaghiyan at regular intervals is recommended to monitor for recurrence and treat any new warts before they become larger.
What is anal dysplasia?
Some warts have abnormal changes or dysplasia reported by the pathologist after surgical excision. The degree of abnormal changes or dysplasia is graded by the pathologist as low-grade or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL or HSIL). HSIL is considered a precursor to cancer, but is not cancer. Close follow-up with Dr. Zaghiyan is recommended. You may find more information about anal dysplasia in the section titled Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia (AIN).