Anal Warts

Anal warts are due to a viral infection caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). It is also called condyloma acuminatum.

The viral infection is spread by close personal contact. It usually presents with tiny swellings close to the anal opening and at times the warts can be present inside the anal opening. Symptoms range from irritation around the anal area, bleeding at the time of bowel movements or pain and discomfort. Without prompt treatment the warts tend to increase in size and cause significant discomfort as well as discharge from the anal region.

Depending on the size of the warts, treatment can be either performed in the office or in the operating room. Office based treatments can either consist of excising the warts or burning them off with acetic acid. Large warts or extensive involvement of the anal region necessitates treatment in the operating room. A close follow-up is needed, as recurrences are common. As the warts can be spread by sexual contact, adequate precautions would need to be taken while the warts are being treated to prevent spread to the other partner.

Read more about anal warts at the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website.