Bartholin Duct Cysts – Common Treatment Options
For mild to moderate cases of Bartholin duct cysts, simple interventions can help in addressing the symptoms; these include:
- Sits-Baths: If you are experiencing pain or swelling, soaking in a tub filled with lukewarm water often helps. For best results, sit in shallow water for up to 15 minutes, several times a day for up to consecutive 4-7 days.
- Analgesics: If your symptoms are not responsive to sits-baths, try pain-killers and antibiotics to reduce the discomfort.
When To See A Doctor?
If you are experiencing following symptoms, it is strongly recommended to see a healthcare professional:
- Formation of a swollen or painful lump
- If there is no improvement or relief of symptoms despite 3-4 days of home based treatment
- If you are experiencing moderate to severe pain that is interfering with your day to day activities
- If there are signs and symptoms of abscess formation at the site of cyst
- If you have evident signs of infection such as fever, chills etc.
How Doctors Manage Painful Or Symptomatic Bartholin Duct Cysts?
Several treatment options are available to manage Bartholin duct cysts; some popular interventions are discussed below:
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are indicated if the cysts have become infected or if there are signs of abscess formation. Broad- spectrum antibiotics are usually indicated to minimize the risk of severe complications like cellulitis.
- Needle Aspiration: This procedure involves aspiration of inflammatory cyst fluid through needle and syringe. In order to reduce the risk of recurrence, your doctor may wash the cyst cavity with alcohol solution
- Balloon catheter: This procedure involves making a small incision at the edge of cyst and inserting a balloon catheter from the tip. The balloon is then filled with sterile normal saline (usually up to 4 ml of saline) to inflate the balloon. Once the cyst cavity begins to heal, the doctor deflates and removes the balloon – ultimately creating a permanent drainage site for cyst fluid.
- Carbon dioxide laser: This intervention is employed to create an opening at the site of cyst in order to promote the drainage of fluid. After complete drainage of the fluid, the cyst is either destroyed completely with the help of laser, or left partially in place to promote fluid drainage.
- Cauterization: This procedure involves introducing an incision on the cyst, removing the inflammatory fluid and replacing with silver nitrate on the empty cavity created after fluid drainage. The silver nitrate obliterates the cavity within 2-3 days, after which doctors remove the remnants and seal the incision site.
- Marsupialization: If Bartholin cysts are recurrent, painful or discomforting, your doctor may advise surgical interventions like marsupialization.
- Surgical removal of Bartholin gland: As a last resort, when all other interventions fail, your doctor may advise complete surgical removal of the gland. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.
- Anozie, O. B., Esike, C. U. O., Anozie, R. O., Mamah, E., Eze, J. N., & Onoh, R. C. (2016). Incidence, Presentation and Management of Bartholin’s Gland Cysts/Abscesses: A Four-Year Review in Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, South-East Nigeria. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 6(5).
- Abdullahi, Z. G., Umar, A. M., Koledade, A. K., Lawal, B. K., Adeoye, T. O., & Shittu, O. S. (2016). Recurrent Bartholin’s gland abscess in pregnancy: An uncommon presentation. Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 33(2), 246.