What is it?
You have warts around the opening of the vagina - the vulva. There may also be some inside the vagina or around the back passage (rectum). They are an infection. They are caused by a virus which is a type of very tiny germ. They usually pass from one person to another during sex. They can be a sign of other disease passed during sex. The warts can be taken away with a small operation. Your partner should also check for warts, and if necessary, have treatment.
You will have a general anaesthetic , and be completely asleep during the operation. The warts are burned away using a special electric current. The operation takes about 20 minutes. You should be able to have the operation on the day you come into hospital, and go home the same day.
If you leave things as they are, the warts will get bigger. They can become very painful. Special ointments will only deal with small patches of warts. Your best way forward is to have this little operation.
Before the operation
Stop smoking and get your weight down if you are overweight. (See Healthy Living). If you know that you have problems with your blood pressure, your heart, or your lungs, ask your family doctor to check that these are under control. Check the hospital's advice about taking the Pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Check you have a relative or friend who can come with you to the hospital, take you home, and look after you for the first day after the operation. Bring all your tablets and medicines with you to hospital. On the ward, you may be checked for past illnesses and may have special tests to make sure that you are well prepared and you can have the operation as safely as possible. . Many hospitals now run special preadmission clinics, where you visit for an hour or two, a few weeks or so before the operation for these checks.
After - In Hospital
You will have a sanitary pad in place. The vulva will feel very tender for a week or more afterwards. Take painkillers to ease the pain. Take baths three times a day to keep the vulva clean and to help healing. There may be slight bleeding from the vulva or vagina for the first three or four days. Only use external pads for this. You need to pass urine before you leave the ward. If you have any difficulty, tell the nurses. You can wash the wound area as soon as you wish. Soap and tap water are entirely adequate. Salted water is not necessary. You can bathe or shower as often as you wish. You will be able to drink within an hour or two of the operation as long as you are not feeling sick. The next day you should be able to manage small helpings of normal food. You should plan to leave hospital the day of your operation. The District Nurse may call on you at home as required. You will be able to stay in hospital longer, if you are not ready to go home the same day. Some hospitals arrange a check up about one month after you leave hospital. Others leave check-ups to the General Practitioner. The nurses will advise about sick notes, certificates etc. You should be able to return to a light job after about one week, and any heavy job within two weeks.
After - At Home
Go to bed and rest for a few hours. Wait until you have had a check-up before having sex. Your partner may need treatment.
As with any operation under general anaesthetic there is a very small risk of complications related to your heart or you lungs. The tests that you will have before the operation will make sure that you can have the operation in the safest possible way and will bring the risk for such complications very close to zero.
This operation is a minor one. Complications are very rare. There is sometimes some small bleeding after two weeks or so. This will settle down. If the warts come back, your partner needs to get advice.
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