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Warts and Plantar Warts (cont.)

Surgery

Surgery is an option if home treatment and treatment at your doctor's office have failed. Surgery for warts is usually quick and effective. No single surgical method is more effective than another in removing warts. Generally, doctors start with the surgical method that is least likely to cause scarring.

Surgery choices

The most common types of surgical treatment for wart removal include:

  • Electrosurgery and curettage. Electrosurgery is burning the wart with an electrical current. Curettage is cutting off the wart with a sharp knife or a small, spoon-shaped tool. The two procedures are often used together.
  • Laser surgery. Laser surgery burns off the wart with an intense beam of light.

What to think about

A wart may return after surgery, because surgery removes the wart but doesn't destroy the virus that causes the wart.

The type of surgery used to remove warts depends on the warts' type, location, and size. Curettage, electrosurgery, and laser surgery are more likely than cryotherapy to leave scars, so they are usually reserved for hard-to-remove or recurring warts. If you have a large area of warts, curettage may not be an effective treatment.

Some surgical treatments may be too painful for some children.

Other Treatment

Cryotherapy, which uses a very cold liquid to freeze a wart, is the most commonly used procedure that doesn't involve medicine to treat warts. This procedure poses little risk of scarring but can be painful.

Click here to view a Decision Point.Warts: Should I Treat Warts?

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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