Bartholin's cyst excision

Surgery to remove a Bartholin's cyst may be recommended if other treatments have proved ineffective

What is a Bartholin's cyst?

Bartholin's cyst is a fluid-filled sac just inside the opening of a woman's vagina. Unless it is bothering you it is often best to leave it and use non-invasive treatments to manage it. If it is causing you pain or repeatedly getting infected your consultant may suggest surgically removing it.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    This operation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic, meaning you'll be asleep for the duration. During the excision, the entire gland will be removed by your consultant. This procedure is usually only considered when the cyst has become infected on several occasions. As a result of the excision, your gland will no longer work. This means that your body will produce less mucous. The procedure usually takes around one hour to complete.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will let you know how best to prepare for this procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You should avoid driving and physical exertion for up to 48 hours after the general anaesthetic. Depending on the rate of your recovery you may need to stay in hospital for two or three nights. The risks of this type of surgery can include bleeding, bruising and infection of the wound. If your wound does become infected it can usually be treated with antibiotics. To help your wound heal and reduce the risk of infection after surgery you may be advised to avoid having sex and using tampons for up to four weeks.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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