Genital Warts or Condyloma Acuminata refer to warts that appear on the genitals of affected persons. Genital warts appear as flesh-colored bumps on the penis or around the vagina or on the cervix. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that spreads through sexual contact. Genital warts may appear on the moist area of the genitals or scrotum and anus.
Genital warts caused by HPV are associated with cervical cancer. A woman suffering from this infection is likely to get an abnormal pap smear result. There may be itching or burning in the genital area. Genital warts can lead to pain during intercourse. Surgical methods are used to remove genital warts. Genital warts are also treated with cryotherapy. Topical applications containing imiquimod are prescribed to rev up the body's immune system.
Cryosurgery is increasingly becoming popular especially in the removal of tumors. Cryosurgery involves the administration of liquid nitrogen at very low temperature to remove tumors and cancerous tissues by cell death. This method is also called as cryogenic cell death. Cryosurgery is also used in the treatment of precancerous tumors in cervical cancer.
Cryosurgery is usually performed when the patient is in a conscious state. Different types of cryoprobes are used to treat cancers or tumors associated with specific regions in the body. Once the cry probe is introduced in the body, the compressed liquid nitrogen with a temperature ranging from -20°C to -50°C is passed into it to freeze and destroy the unwanted tissue through contact. The cells are subject to osmotic pressure changes because of the increased fluid content caused by the cry probe. Cryosurgery is done at regular intervals to promote thawing of the tissue and subsequently freezing it to destroy the layer of cells that are not required.
Precautions and side effects of Cryosurgery
In most cases, an interval of three minutes is given throughout the procedure. The probe inactivates the nerve endings touching the adjacent cells to inhibit the sensation of pain caused by the abnormal tissue. Vascular changes also occur during the procedure such as initial numbness and flushing sensation during the thawing process. Cryosurgery is most suggestive in case of precancerous stages as it enables treatment of the cancerous tissue effectively. It is predominantly used in the treatment of Neuroma, prostate cancer, cervical cancer and skin cancer. Patients generally complain cramping sensation during the procedure which usually subsides on its own.
Other complications include infection and swelling. Since cryosurgery does not require major invasion, the side effects are minimal. Cryosurgery can be done both as external and internal procedure. The healing patterns after the procedure vary from one area of the body to another. In case of skin cancers or melanomas, the deterioration of the unwanted warts and subsequent tissue rejuvenation may take up to six weeks. Malignant melanomas are not treated by using cryosurgery.
Cryosurgery cannot be performed for all types of cancers and on all organs, because of the probability of normal tissue damage and formation of unwanted scarred tissues. Careful analysis is done by the physician to identify the form of tumor and the type of cells associated. Biopsy is performed to detect any form of malignancy or metastases of the respective cancer. Salicylic acid is applied on the warts prior to cryosurgery to reduce the size. In some cases cryospray is used directly on an external growth for a period of 20 to 30 seconds.
Although cryosurgery is one of the most preferred techniques, elderly persons are not suitable for this procedure. Most patients undergoing cryotherapy experience blisters, itching and oozing for a short period of time. Precautions are taken to avoid any form of secondary infection. Cryosurgery associated with skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, have side effects such as hypo pigmentation and hyper pigmentation. In some rare cases nerve damages have been reported. Studies indicate that patients who have a history of human papilloma virus infection also prefer cryosurgery for the removal of genital warts.
Vulvitis or vulvovaginitis is a condition where the vulval opening becomes inflamed. It can occur due to poor hygiene, UTI, allergy or vaginitis and mycotic infections. Symptoms of vulvitis include burning, itching, redness and swelling in the vulva and vaginal opening. Acute vulvitis is characterized by edema of the vulva and pruritis. There is acute pain and burning. On the other hand, chronic vulvitis has lesser symptoms. It can be causes by allergies, fungal or bacterial infection, low estrogen levels or genital warts. Cold compress can give relief from acute vulvitis. Cortisone ointments can reduce the itching. Avoid tight clothes and materials like nylon and polyester. Oral antihistamines can give relief. Corticosteroids are prescribed for inflammation and pruritus.
Vulvar vestibulitis is another similar condition that is characterized by urinary frequency, Dyspareunia and rawness and burning. Women suffer vestibular redness and itching. Severe pain is felt during exercising and intercourse. On the other hand, vaginismus is painful sexual intercourse. This mostly happens due to inadequate sexual arousal. Usually women suffering vaginismus are offered sexual therapy and suggested Kegels exercises.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 16, 2019