Excision of a Bartholin gland cyst

Removal (excision) of a Bartholin gland cyst is a minor surgical procedure. Because the vulva has an extensive blood supply, removing a Bartholin gland cyst can cause bleeding. This is best treated in a surgical setting.

In a surgery center, you will be given whatever numbing and calming medication you need for the procedure. If the cyst is painful, your doctor probably will recommend a general anesthetic to put you to sleep.

You do not need to stay overnight at the hospital after an excision.

An excision procedure includes:

  • Positioning you on the exam table in the same position used for a pelvic exam or Pap test.
  • Cleaning the vulva and vagina with an antiseptic solution.
  • Injecting a numbing medication (local anesthetic) in the vulva area.
  • Making a small cut (incision) into the cyst.
  • Draining the fluid out of the cyst.
  • Removing the entire cyst sac, which is the membrane that contains the cyst.

In rare cases, the entire Bartholin gland and duct are removed. This is often recommended for postmenopausal women with Bartholin gland problems because of the risk of cancer, which increases with age. However, simply draining a Bartholin cyst and testing the cyst tissue for cancer is also a reasonable first-time treatment.

To lower your risk of infection, do not have sexual intercourse until the area is completely healed. This can take several weeks.

Last Updated: February 4, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.