What is surgical removal of genital warts?

Surgical Removal of Genital Warts
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Surgical removal of genital warts by excision: Overview

Visible genital warts on the penis or vagina or around the anus can be removed by excision. This means cutting off the warts with a surgical knife (scalpel). Warts on the cervix may be removed by laser or loop electrosurgical excision (LEEP).

The procedure is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic or an outpatient surgery center. You receive medicine that numbs the area around the warts (local anesthetic).

How well does surgical removal of genital warts by excision work?

Surgery often works well to treat genital warts. Most of the time it removes warts. But warts may grow back.

What are the risks of surgical removal of genital warts by excision?

Risks of surgery are:

  • Scarring.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection. You may receive antibiotics at the time of the procedure, to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Pain. You may need medicine for several days after the procedure.

What can you expect as you recover from surgical removal of genital warts by excision?

Recovery time depends on the location and number of warts removed.

  • Most people will be able to return to normal activities within 1 to 3 days.
  • Healing takes 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Scarring may occur.

Avoid sexual intercourse until the treated area heals and soreness is gone. (This usually takes 1 to 3 weeks. It depends on the size of the area treated.)

Why is surgical removal of genital warts by excision done?

Surgery is used to remove warts that return after other treatments. It also may be used when warts are widespread. A single treatment may be all that is needed.

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