Electrocauterization, or electrocautery, is a medical practice that can be employed to destroy unwanted tissue with the use of heat conduction from a low-voltage electric current. It is a delicate procedure which can be used to treat specific bits of abnormal tissue with extreme precision. Therefore, electrocautery is also suitable for the treatment of genital warts. Electrocautery for genital warts is usually conducted in a doctor’s office or a clinic and is an outpatient procedure. This article takes a quick look at the procedure itself and at what may follow during the recovery period.
Since electrocautery for genital warts involves the application of heat in some of the most sensitive areas of the human body, the administration of a local anaesthetic agent is an absolute necessity, while more severe cases may require general anaesthesia. A metal probe is then used to literally burn the warts, without causing any significant bleeding since any ruptured blood vessels are immediately sealed due to the effects of the heat.
It is important to note that if the warts are scattered around, a large number of anaesthetic agent injections may be required, which may in turn increase preoperative patient discomfort. Furthermore, in some cases a single treatment session may not be enough and several may be required. Most of the time however, the physician will prefer to apply as much electrocautery as possible in a single session, so as to minimize the need for any further treatment.
The recovery period is dependent on the site, size and number of the warts that were cauterized. Healing will typically take between two and four weeks, but may be even more if treatment was done on a very large area. During this period, the patient may notice redness at the site of treatment and also experience pain or mild to moderate swelling. Also, it may not be possible to fully prevent scarring of the skin tissue.
After electrocautery for genital warts, antibiotics may also need to be prescribed in order to minimize the risk of infection throughout the recovery period, and if there is persistent pain, analgesics may be required as well.
As in most other methods of genital warts treatment, electrocautery for genital warts will only help in their eradication and will not prevent the virus from staying in a dormant state in the human body. However, it is extremely effective in the removal of warts, and a person who has undergone electrocautery for genital warts will have a lower probability of another outbreak when compared to a person who underwent treatment with drugs.