OBJECTIVES--To compare analgesic efficacy and pain caused by administration of lidocaine/prilocaine cream (EMLA(R)) versus xylocaine 1% local infiltration for punch biopsy and electrocoagulation of genital warts in men. DESIGN--Open randomised comparative parallel-group study. SETTING--Department of Dermatovenereology, University Hospital Rotterdam/Dijkzigt, the Netherlands. PATIENTS--63 males with warts on the genital mucosa and/or perianal area. METHODS--EMLA(R) cream (2.5-5 g) was applied during 13-45 minutes before surgery. Xylocaine 1% (0.1-4 ml) was infiltrated 0.5-4 minutes before surgery. Pain during administration and surgery was assessed by the patient on a verbal rating scale and on a visual analogue scale. RESULTS--EMLA(R) application was painless in all patients (n = 31) whereas xylocaine infiltration was slightly painful in 17/29 patients and moderately painful in 10/29 patients. EMLA(R) analgesia was satisfactory for 94% of biopsies and 62% of electrocoagulations. Xylocaine infiltration was satisfactory in all procedures. CONCLUSIONS--EMLA(R) application on the male genital mucosa is painless but it has a lower analgesic efficacy than xylocaine infiltration. However EMLA is a useful anaesthetic for taking biopsies in this area and may be used as premedication for local infiltration.
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