Removal of Anogenital Warts

One way to treat anogenital warts is to physically remove them in a process termed physical ablation. This is an effective treatment and there are many different ways in which to remove the warts. However, the treatment can be quite uncomfortable and it depends on what treatment you are receiving as to how it feels.


This method of physical ablation uses low temperatures in order to destroy the tissue of the anogenital wart. The therapy involves freezing the wart so that it will fall off. It may need more than one session on a wart in order to destroy all the tissue and this will depend on the anatomy of the wart. You will feel a burning sensation and it is uncomfortable but not unbearable. The area will tend to be quite sore after the treatment.

Laser surgery

A popular treatment for hardened anogenital warts is laser surgery. Laser surgery has recently become technologically advanced, so much so that it can be used in virtually any surgical area. The aim of the treatment is to burn off the warts so that they are no longer on the skin. This can be quite a painful experience so you will be given either a local or a general anaesthetic so that you don’t feel the pain. A local anaesthetic is an injection that is given to the area that is to be operated on so that the entire area is numb. During this procedure, you would be awake but you would not feel any pain. You may be given a general anaesthetic instead so you would be unconscious for the entire procedure. This option means a longer recovery, as you have to come round from the anaesthetic, which may take a few hours so many surgeons opt for local anaesthetic. The needle from the anaesthetic will be the only pain that you will feel during laser surgery. After the procedure, the area will be irritable and sore for a few days.


Excision involves cutting the warts off the surface of the skin. The surgeon will give you an injection for a local anaesthetic to the infected area and this will numb that area. They will then use a scalpel in order to cut the warts from the skin and then they will stitch up the cut. This method is not as popular as other methods because it can lead to scarring and it can also be quite tender and sore after the surgery.


This form of treatment is combined with excision in order to be effective and is used on tougher, harder warts. It is quite a painful procedure so you will either be given a regional anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic. A regional anaesthetic is where you will be given an injection into your spinal cord so that the bottom half of your body is numbed and a general anaesthetic will knock you unconscious. Excision is performed first and most of the wart is cut out by the surgeon. They would then use an electric metal loop that they press against the skin and the electric current will kill the remaining skin. The area will be quite sore after the surgery for a few days.

What might make removal more painful?

The level of discomfort or pain that you may experience will depend on a number of factors. First, it depends on what procedure is used as some are more painful after the operation than others. It also depends on how many warts you are having removed. The more warts that are removed, the more tender and sore the infected area will be after surgery. It also depends on how big the warts are because the larger they are, the more there is to remove and consequently, the sorer the area will be. It will also depend on the anatomy of your warts because the harder they are, the harder they are to remove. Talk through the procedure with your surgeon if you are worried as they can tell you exactly what to expect.

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