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HPV Question
Nov 22, 2001

I am HIV+ and was just diagnosed with HPV (Anal Warts) I have three on my backside, close to the anus.

The doctor is a Rectal/GI Specialist, and told me that I have the option of going back to the office (this is at a University Hospital) for removal which would involve a shot in the butt, and then cutting them off (I guess) He said that it would be a nurse, a med student, and himself in the room, and me of course, butt up in the air, and dignity thru the floor.

He also told me that I have the option of surgery (with local, regional, or complete anestesia (sp?) and I would be released from the hospital within hours.

I have heard of dangers (including death) of "going under" but I have also experienced pain in other parts of my body when novicane didn't fully work- I do not have I high pain thresh hold. The thought of 3 people observing is a little embarassing. I am a little uncomfortable with both situations (surgery or outpatient)

Which would you recommend? If I go under, I can at least spare my dignity but...

Forgive me if this question sounds stupid, but I am scared and I dont know what to do.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

There are a number of possible treatments for warts, and the answers you'll get deeeepend on what kind of doctor you're seeing and how big the warts are. If they're small, then in my experience it's wwwworth a trial of medical therapy using a topical medicine called imiquimod (Aldara). Warts can also be treated topically with other chemicalsss, ussssually done by a dermatologist. They can also be cauterized (burned off) or removed surgically.

Since you have concerns about what's been offered to you, it might be helpful to get a second opinion from a different kind of doctor, such as an infectious diseases or skin specialist, and see what someone else has to say. Your question isn't stupid, but only you can decide which risks and discomforts you're willing to undergo-- I can't make that decision for you. Good luck!


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