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Bartholin Cyst Drainage

Mike Hughey, MD

The Bartholin glands are located on each side of the vaginal opening. Normally, they cannot be seen or palpated. If enlarged, due to a cyst or abscess, they can be easily identified.

They should not be confused with epithelial inclusion cysts, periclitoral abscess, vulvar hematoma or lymphogranuloma venereum.

To drain a Bartholin cyst, start by stabilizing the cyst with thumb and forefinger. After antiseptic preparation, infiltrate the skin with a local anesthetic.

From the medial surface, direct a small scalpel straight into the center of the cyst and allow the contents to drain.

This new drainage tract may be simply left open.

To reduce the risk of re-formation, the drainage tract may be sewn open in a marsupialization procedure. Some physicians insert a Word catheter for several days to encourage the new drainage tract to remain open.