BARTHOLIN’S CYST/ABSCESS

So—looking at WEBMD–and they tell me that a Bartholin cyst is not painful!   Whaaaat?????   Have they TALKED to a woman with a large Bartholin cyst?  She’ll tell you otherwise!

What are these Bartholin’s cysts?

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There are little glands right at the entrance to your vagina–that will get you all lubed up for a bit of fun!

Sometimes, the duct (way out), get plugged and liquid/mucous gets backed up–and it starts to swell up.  It can be just the size of a pea (and this size may not hurt), all the way to the size of a golf ball—and those hurt!

If you have redness of the skin with it, and feel unwell–or have fever and chills, then it has become an ABSCESS.

You need the cyst drained if painful, or has not gone away with sitting in a warm tub 4 times a day for 3 days.

An abscess really needs to be drained, and antibiotics prescribed.

If you are over 40–these things can actually be a vulva cancer mimicking a cyst–you need a specimen sent for examination under a microscope!

What you can do is get a nice warm bath–some Epsom salts is nice to add–and the cyst may just pop on its own!   Warm compresses may do the job.  You can take Ibuprofen /Tylenol etc.   If cyst gets really big and painful you will need to seek medical advice.

Now to try and explain what is done with an INCISION AND DRAINAGE, I tried to draw a few pictures.  The cyst is cut open, and drained.  If it is just a cyst–you don’t need antibiotics!   Just get nice warm baths with some Epsom salts if you have some, and things should heal up nicely.

If the cyst is large, your doctor may put a rubber catheter–called a WORD CATHETER into the hole and blow up a TINY BALLOON.

The catheter usually pops out on its own within 24-48 hours–ask you doctor how s/he would like you to care for catheter.  The catheter stops the hole in skin form closing up fast–which would make the cyst come back.

The pictures with the hat below is what happens with a marsupialization (MAR-SOUP-PEE-AL-IZE-ATION).

We get the name from kangaroos–they are called marsupials because they have a pocket–and we are making a pocket –to allow plenty of room for drainage of the Bartholin gland.

This is done to treat recurrent cysts or abscesses, and can be done under local numbing medicine (freezing medicine).  It is usually done by a gynecology specialist.

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imagine this hat is the Bartholin cyst--all puffed up!
imagine this hat is the Bartholin cyst–all puffed up!
now--after a small cut is made you can see the "cyst" (a yellow grocery bag) under the skin. You can try and shell out the cyst whole--but it usually bursts open!
now–after a small cut is made you can see the “cyst” (a yellow grocery bag) under the skin. You can try and shell out the cyst whole–but it usually bursts open!
all the mucous or pus is coming out! Use your imagination!
all the mucous or pus is coming out! Use your imagination!

 

now everything is drained, and you can see the bottom of the hole where the cyst was--that white paper is at the bottom of the cyst.
now everything is drained, and you can see the bottom of the hole where the cyst was–that white paper is at the bottom of the cyst.
now --we go down into the cavity, and grab it in a few places at the bottom with a stitch (pretend that the colored clips are stitches)
now –we go down into the cavity, and grab it in a few places at the bottom with a stitch (pretend that the colored clips are stitches)
we now bring the bottom of the cavity up and sew it to the edges of the cut--see how the white is now clipped to the skin--so there isno deep cavity left now----so you don't need a word catheter.
we now bring the bottom of the cavity up and sew it to the edges of the cut–see how the white is now pulled up and clipped to the ‘skin’–so there isno deep cavity left now—-so you don’t need a word catheter.

So—can you see how it is done–I can’t really show you on a real cyst (well–I could)–but there’s enough pus on the internet–what is it with people taking videos of their abscesses—uggghhh!

Ok—-comments (be nice) are welcome–I’ll update site as needed.

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