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Genital wart (condyloma) removal

Genital wart (condyloma) removal


Genital warts can be removed in several ways: with laser, loop, cryotherapy, and products containing podophyllin.


What are genital warts (condyloma)?


Genital condyloma, also known as genital warts, is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Fortunately, unlike high-risk HP virus which exclusively attacks the cervix and can cause cervical cancer, HPV types that cause warts don’t have malignant potential. 


However, the infection caused by this harmless HPV (which causes warts), tends to go together with the infection caused by this harmful HP virus. For this reason, in case of genital warts it is necessary to do colposcopy and PAPA smear beside the simple pelvic exam.


How can I get infected?


Genital warts are usually transmitted by sexual intercourse (no matter whether it is vaginal, anal or oral sex), but this infection can also be transferred by non-sexual direct contact with the infected skin or mucosa. It is important to mention that a person can be infected with HP virus and never have genital warts (far more often case in men). This means that the infection can be transmitted even when there are no visible signs of the infection in your partner. Condyloma can appear after several weeks, and also several years after the contact with the infected person, so it is usually not possible to know for sure when the infection was caught. 


What do they look like?


Genital warts are skin growths that can be pinkish, whitish, soft-to-touch or rough, raised or flat. They are usually localized on the vulva, on the vagina opening or inside the vagina, on the cervix, around the anus, and other genital areas.


What does the condyloma appearance and the extent of growth depend on?


The appearance and growth of genital warts depend on several factor, but the most important is the immune system. Every situation that causes reduction of the body defense capability, favors the appearance and development of condyloma (illness, tiredness, stress, pregnancy, etc.)


How do I recognize that I have condyloma?


The condyloma development starts with appearance of tiny bumps on the skin or mucosa of genital organs. In this stage they can only be detected with a colposcope (microscope), so regular gynecological exams are very significant.


Genital warts can stay in this early (microscopic) stage for a long time. The further development is unpredictable and goes in either of two ways:

  • Condyloma can spontaneously disappear;

  • Condyloma grow and spread around the entire anal/genital region, inside the vagina and on the cervix.


How are they diagnosed?

  • On the gynecological exam, with colposcopy (directly) and PAPA smear (indirectly, through cellular changes caused by HPV)


How are they treated?


Genital warts can be removed in several ways:

  •  Loop procedure;

  • Laser procedure;

  • Cryotherapy and products containing podophyllin;

  • Simple surgical procedure (using a surgical knife);

  • Electrocautery.


In the modern gynecology, loop and laser procedures are most often.


Should the condyloma be removed as soon as they are detected?


Condyloma removal does not mean they will never appear again, for several reasons:


1.Every intervention spares the healthy tissue to the maximum, so only detected changes are treated, together with the immediately surrounding area. There is no medical reason to perform the loop or laser procedure on the larger part of the skin and mucosa “just in case”. Unfortunately, the virus isn’t only in the removed skin changes, but also in the portions of skin and mucosa where they haven’t appeared yet. If new condyloma are spotted several weeks after the intervention, new therapy is performed, again sparing the healthy tissue.


2.It is well known that there is no medication for any virus infection. The warts can be removed, but that doesn’t mean the virus is removed from the body. Every situation that triggers activation of this virus can start the development of condyloma.

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