Marsupialization or Excision of Bartholin's Gland

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What is a Bartholin's gland cyst?

A Bartholin's gland cyst is a fluid-filled swelling of a Bartholin's gland. Bartholin's glands are two small glands on each side of the opening of the vagina (birth canal). These glands are called Bartholin's glands. They each have a small duct (tube) that opens to the outside. The glands produce a fluid that helps protect the tissue around the vagina and provides lubrication during sexual intercourse. Normally these glands cannot be felt or seen.

How does it occur?

A cyst may develop when the duct of one of the glands becomes swollen and blocked. Injury, irritation, or infection may cause a buildup of fluid and swelling that blocks the duct.

What are the symptoms?

  • Swelling, usually on one side of the opening of the vagina.
  • Redness over the swelling.
  • Tenderness.
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Feeling of pressure around the vagina.
  • Sometimes pain.
  • There may also be redness or swelling of the lips of the labia, the folds of skin around the opening of the vagina.

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and will see a swollen area at the opening of the vagina. The swelling will be diagnosed as a cyst if it is not painful. If it is painful and infected, it is called a Bartholin's glad abscess.

What are the risks of this procedure?

  • Damage to a vein or artery that could cause serious bleeding.
  • You may develop an infection in your incision.
  • Recurrence of lesion or infection.
  • Chronic pain or scarring.

What happens after the procedure?

You may stay in the hospital several hours or overnight if necessary. After the procedure you may:

  • Feel sleepy or groggy from the anesthetic.
  • Have some cramps.
  • Have trouble urinating the first few hours after the procedure.
  • Have a watery or bloody discharge for 3 or 4 weeks.

When should I call Greenville OB/GYN?

Call our emergency number at any time if:

  • You develop a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).
  • More swelling.
  • Redness around the cyst.

Call during regular office hours if:

  • You have questions about the procedure or its results.
  • You want to make another appointment.

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