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Have you undergone surgery for a Bartholin cyst? Please describe your experience.

For Bartholin's abscesses and cysts that are symptomatic (large or painful), the treatment is drainage. An abscess is an infection within an enclosed space, and antibiotics do not adequately enter into the enclosed space. Therefore, treatment of an abscess almost always requires that the infection be drained.Drainage of a Bartholin's abscess can be done in the doctor's office or a hospital's Emergency Department. Local anesthetic is injected over the abscess, and then an incision is made on the inner surface of the entrance to the vagina. After the infected material is drained, the abscess cavity is packed either with gauze or a small catheter. This holds the cavity open and promotes further drainage. Gauze packing is removed after 24-48 hours. If a small catheter is used, it may be left in place for several weeks to minimize the chance of recurrence. The catheter is the preferred method of drainage because it is less painful and more successful.Drainage of an abscess can be uncomfortable, because local anesthetics do not always work well in inflamed tissue. Depending on the preferences of both the woman and the doctor, as well as other factors including the size of the abscess, IV medications may be given for sedation and additional pain relief during the procedure.After drainage of an abscess, antibiotic treatment is usually not necessary. However, if there is a concern of a sexually transmitted infection, or if there is evidence of urinary or vaginal infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed. In some cases, this will be done a couple of days after the initial treatment, after the results of any cultures are received.Once a recurrent cyst has been cooled off, a procedure called a marsupialization can be carried out. This is usually done in an outpatient surgical setting. An incision is made into the skin over the cyst and then carried down through the cyst wall. This drains the fluid from the cyst and then the lining of the cyst wall is sutured to the overlying skin in such a way as to create a permanent drain site. This usually prevents recurrence of the cyst.
21 Responses
Avatar universal
My first experience of a Bartholin cyst was at age of 33. I went to the clinic as it was so painful, and was given huge injection of antibiotics. I went home to lie down and next day it exploded. Then I have had recurring incidences annually, once on both sides of vaginal area. I was operated on, but it is still occurring annually. Now I'm 70 years old and just experiencing another cyst on the right side of inner vaginal area, more pronounced whilst sitting. Do these occurrences ever cease! Looking for permanent relief.
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I experienced Bartholin cyst three times and 2 times I had to go for surgery because I was in unbearable pain and the cyst was too large in size. The surgery was performed under local anesthesia so I did not feel much at that time. They punctured it and asked me to come for dressing for 3 or 4 days (till the cut healed).  It was so painful to urinate until that cut healed up properly and the dressing session was awful, but after 3 or 4 days all got normal. It was the worst experience for me.
Avatar universal
I developed a red bump, which slowly grew and became very sore and inflamed over 3 days or so. My doctor prescribed me antibiotics but it didn't respond and 2 days later the Bartholin cyst was huge. I started draining it naturally with a hot soaked flannel however I couldn't wait any longer as the pain was terrible so I went to Accident and Emergency and had it drained. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced and now I am really sore from the wound and off work as I can't walk or drive. I also now have to go the nurse every 2 days to have the wound re-dressed - not very convenient when you're working. I would recommend soaking with a hot towel at the very early stages to avoid drainage as I still feel traumatized by the experience!
Avatar universal
I just had surgery yesterday for my Bartholin cyst. I am 27 and I've had it 6 times in the last three years. The first couple of times it popped on its own. The actual cyst never left (it just became inflamed every time it came back). One time I had it lanced and one time I had a catheter but it only stayed in for two days. The pain each time is excruciating and my glands have become so swollen that I needed the surgery. So yesterday they did the marsupialization. Hopefully it doesn't return.
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When I was 21 years of age, I had a very large Bartholin gland cyst. They said it was as big as a soft ball, now I'm 72 years old and have another one that is quite large. I am going to a surgeon. I don't know what to expect.
Avatar universal
I had Bartholin cysts on both sides for years, both about the size of a grape. I haven't been able to produce lubrication in years. Last month the one on the right swelled up to the size of an orange and I had the Word catheter put in. My gynecologist took the catheter out in 3 days so obviously it healed too quickly and came right back. Both sides swelled up like golf balls and she marsupialized both sides yesterday, it is so painful and no pain killers help. Hope it gets better soon.
Avatar universal
I am 24 years old. For 2 1/2 years I have been dealing with a Bartholin cyst. Currently dealing with one. I have had it drained 15 times, marsupialization 3 times, and it drained once on its own.
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I had a Bartholin cyst for three years until 18 months ago when I started drinking crushed garlic with warm water every morning. I have not been sick since then, in fact I have not seen a doctor since then. I went for drainage twice and surgery once.
Avatar universal
I am 19 and have had a Bartholin abscess surgery just under two weeks ago. I had fever and was throwing up for days. I was prescribed antibiotics but the cyst did not burst. I had a Word catheter put in and my goodness, the local anesthetic was quite painful. The relief from the drainage was soothing, it did hurt putting the catheter in and I honestly would not wish this pain on anyone. I hope it doesn't hurt taking out in 4 to 6 weeks (from surgery). It was quite traumatic and hope it never returns.
Avatar universal
I had a Bartholin gland cyst last June. The gynecologist prescribed antibiotics but it was already way too late for that. They didn't help at all and 3 days later I was in the worst pain of my life 10 times over. Since it was abscessed and swollen, the general anesthesia did not work, so when he cut me I felt the full force of everything. If I hadn't already spent days building my pain tolerance I would not have been able to lie still through it all. He put in a Word catheter which stayed 5 days.
Avatar universal
I recently had a Bartholin gland excision. I had tried sitz baths, draining the Bartholin cyst, and a Word catheter, but it kept coming back and unfortunately I was developing scar tissue which can cause its own issues. My surgery was about 30 to 40 minutes and I was put under general anesthesia. I was prescribed high strength ibuprofen and hydrocodone (which I never had to take as the pain was manageable) as well as an antibiotic to be safe. Recovery wasn't terrible and by no means took weeks to recover.
Avatar universal
I have been battling with a Bartholin gland for over 4 years. I did everything they could do (catheter and marsupialization). My doctor finally got the gland at the perfect time while it wasn't infected or too inflamed and they removed the gland. I'm a week post operation and it is torture. The worst pain ever but it will definitely be all worth it in the end to never deal with this reoccurring problem. The truth of the matter is sometimes the cysts don't go away, they go away but someone always come back.
Avatar universal
I am 32 and have just received surgery today for my Bartholin cyst which turned into an abscess the size of a lemon. Firstly, this was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Two weeks prior this it started as a swelling, and no pain; just awkwardness and uncomfortable. With a week of antibiotics it just seemed to get even bigger, again no pain. Five days later, agony, hospital, surgery, and never felt better. Get the surgery (marsupialization)!
Avatar universal
I had a Bartholin cyst behind the vaginal wall. I had operation on Monday to get it removed. It's only been 4 days. I had a check inside there, looks like something there which shouldn't be; an orange lump. Wasn't there before the surgery. Now it is, so wondering what it could be.
Avatar universal
I experienced my first Bartholin cyst when I was 18 years old. Since then (I am now 21) I have had 5 cysts occur. I have had 4 marsupializations and 1 cyst burst on its own. It is the most excruciating pain I have ever been in and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I am now experiencing another cyst (number 6 in just 3 years). Doctors and gynecologists have had no answers for me other than saying that I just have to live with it.
Avatar universal
I am 21 years old. I had my Bartholin cyst drained last year and it has come back twice as big. My doctor recommended me to have the surgery. It is now day 4 after the procedure and I'm still unable to really walk properly, I waddle because the rubbing is excruciating. The draining is never ending. I've got to sleep on my back because that's the only option. It's a pinching, stinging pain at this point and I am hoping for relief soon. It feels and looks like someone took a mallet to my vagina, to be quite frank.
Avatar universal
I had marsupialization today for a reoccurring Bartholin cyst. This last time it turned into an abscess which lasted for the last 9 days. It was so painful I ended up in the emergency room twice and was finally booked in for emergency marsupialization today. I've been on oxycodone, Panadol and Nurofen the last 3 days and the pain just got worse. I had to urinate in the shower as I couldn't sit on the toilet, I was using crutches as I couldn't walk on my left leg and couldn't even get off the couch to go to bed.
Avatar universal
I had been dealing with a Bartholin cyst with a perianal fistula for 2 years. I was given antibiotics twice, and when halfway through my 2nd time taking antibiotics, my cyst grew. I was also taking Epsom salt baths 3 times a day. It grew to the size of a golf ball and became hard and painful. I went to the emergency room and had it drained yesterday. It was literally the worst pain in my life. I'm pregnant, so it was done under local anesthesia, but it did not numb. It hurts terribly.
Avatar universal
I had marsupialization of my Bartholin cyst, 2 days ago. I went in to remove one and ended up having to drain two. It was not painful but uncomfortable. I'm currently 30 and have been dealing with Bartholin cysts for about 5 years. Three had burst on their own. I have no pain after the surgery currently, so my experience was not that bad.
Avatar universal
I'm currently 35. I've been dealing with different cysts vaginally for almost 8 years. My first Bartholin cyst, I had to have lanced, and it was the most awful pain. Now when I get them I hope they break on their own. Two days ago I noticed a painful one higher up closer to my urethra and it hurts badly. Maybe the size of a dime. I found this thread and am now trying the hot bath with Epsom three times a day, tea tree oil with CBD hemp oil and heating pad. It's rock hard but I'm certain it'll pop in 24 hours.
Avatar universal
I had my Bartholin cyst drained twice. The first time it reoccurred after a year and the 2nd time it reoccurred in hours after the doctor drained it. It kept on growing despite the antibiotics and soaking. Painkillers did not help at all. I was finally faced with surgery. Seven months after I had marsupialization it reoccurred again, and the doctor has put me on antibiotics. I really hope that they work. This is the most traumatizing pain. It's like your vagina is being stabbed or being set on fire.
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