Hello. I dont currently have any questions, but instead wanted to tell others what I went through and hope that I can give someone a piece of mind that is thinking of getting surgery like this. I have read many horror stories on this and almost did not go through with it, but so far I am glad I did it. I know everyone is different and every case is different but it really wasn't that bad for me. I also have terrible anxiety and this was a huge ordeal to go through without much information. All I had to go by was looking stuff up on the internet and my doctor. So far I think my doctor is very experienced in his field (colorectal surgeon), but his bedside manner and communication was lacking so I had to figure some of it out on my own.
I had anal warts pop up about 7 years ago. My GYN had initially misdiagnosed these for hemorrhoids so I left them alone. This was a mistake, as they went from itchy little nodules (about 4-5) to growing up in stalks and becoming cauliflower warts. I also was diagnosed with HPV obviously. I was devastated and embarrassed. While I went for my PAPs with a new GYN to monitor cervical dysplasia, I was too ashamed to get the warts treated. I had one doctor tell me they have never even seen warts in that area like that before which made me feel even worse.
Fast forward to 2 years ago when I was "brave enough" to try to treat the problem. I had started a new relationship, and my new boyfriend was super understanding of my situation. He often tried to make me feel better and tell me it wasn't that bad. I never wanted him to look at my butt because I was so embarrassed which led to restrictions in our intimacy. I decided I had to get rid of the problem. I went to a GYN that did the TCA acid. I had a few treatments of that and it got rid of the wart tissue. It was better, but I still had skin tags and a hemorrhoid left over. The GYN said that I would have to see a specialist and that she doesn't recommend the surgery because everyone who she talked to to have it done said they regretted it and it would be extremely painful. I got in my car and I cried. I thought I was just going to live with this forever.
A few months later the hemorrhoid had thrombosed, causing my a lot of discomfort and itching. I went to my general doctor who gave me a referral to the colorectal specialist. I went for an appointment and then scheduled a day to get the hemorrhoid and skin tags removed a couple weeks out. I also went for an appointment in between to get procedure done where they put a camera in there and take pictures and do biopsies (not under anesthesia), which was uncomfortable, but I lived. They did find two spots of low-grade dysplasia (caused by HPV) and one more internal wart. By the time I went to get the surgery, the hemorrhoid had resolved itself completely which was a huge relief. He still removed the skin tags. Give yourself enough time off of work. I had taken 8 days off of work just in case and I needed every bit of it.
The local anesthesia was hard to deal with, I'm not going to sugar coat it. 4 needles right in my butt. I have a high pain tolerance and I yelped with each one. But again, it sucked but I survived. I felt nothing while he was cutting the tags off. He cauterized them with silver nitrate and I was sent home. Maybe took 10 minutes. I was just told to put some neosporin on the area and take tylenol. I stayed off my feet most of the rest of the day. The first few hours were fine, as the anesthesia was still active. I fell asleep around 8 PM and woke up to the peak of the pain around midnight. It was definitely painful, but maybe a 6/10. Luckily I had read about sitz baths online and quickly filled my tub with a couple inches of warm water with a couple tablespoons of salt and when I sat down the pain subsided instantly. You will definitely want to do this. I lightly swished some soap around the area without touching it. Sat for about 15 minutes and dried the area well and put some neosporin with pain releif on. I was able to go back to sleep. The next day was much better. I would have an annoying dull ache and sharp pains here and there but nothing major. I just layed around. I was taking tylenol for the first 48 hours, because I was afraid of the NSAID issues with clotting blood and thinning but after that went right for the ibuprofen. I took sitz baths 4x times a day and cleaned the area. The recovery was about the same for the first 4 days. After that it got significantly better with just a twinge of pain here and there. Definitely glad I decided to take stool softeners too, BMs were not that bad. I would put Prep H on the area about 5 minutes beforehand to ease the discomfort but you want to try to not have hard BMs and do the sitz bath after every one. I also didnt change my diet too much. Like I wasn't eating chips and nuts by any means, but I had soup and sandwiches and stuff. My last day off of work(day 8) I felt adventurous enough to run to a few stores and stuff.
I then decided to take a mirror to look at the area as I felt a lot of swelling still. It looked like a car accident to me. The area that had the worst of the skin tags was super swollen, like I had even larger tags which worried me a lot. I read a few people online complaining about this issue but with no resolution but GIVE IT TIME IT WILL GET BETTER! I could see a couple of incision areas that freaked me out a little too. I was worried that he didn't do a good job and that the surgery wasn't worth it or something. I had another appointment coming up to get the internal wart removed though, so I would see what he says when I went in there. I was scared to go to the next appointment because I was worried that the area would be super sensitive and it involved a scope and local anesthetic again. The swelling went down little by little every day, though. When I went to my appointment(two weeks after skin tag surgery) he put the scope in, one needle for anesthetic which wasnt bad this time, cut the wart, cauterized and I was done. I didn't have much discomfort from that. I asked him if everything was healing okay and he said yes and it usually takes a while for the skin tag spots to go back to looking normal.
It has now been 3 weeks since the skin tag surgery. I have a little bit of redness around the area, and am still washing myself after every BM just in case. There is a little bit of extra-looking skin in one area where the tags were the worst (I also have always had a small extra flap of skin there that I have had my whole life), but it looks waaaaaay better. Hopefully in a couple months it will look almost back to normal (I expect the extra flap I've always had to still be there, which is fine.) But I am glad I got it done. Good luck to anyone who has to get any sort of surgery like this. I am not dismissing all the complaints I have read online because everyone has a different case and different pain tolerance, but I suggest taking some of the stories of it being the worst unbearable agony ever with a grain of salt. I hope I hope this helps someone who is also terrified and embarrassed to go through anything like this.