Bartholin Cyst (cont.)
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Bartholin's Cyst Exams and Tests
In general, the diagnosis of Bartholin's cyst or abscess is made by physical examination. In many cases, no additional testing is needed.
Sometimes cultures are taken to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and to check for sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. These cultures simply involve taking a swab either from the material drained from the abscess or from another area such as the cervix. Results of these tests are not available until about 48 hours later, so they do not change the immediate treatment. However, they may indicate a need for additional treatment with antibiotics.
How to Treat Bartholin's Cyst
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Treatment of a Bartholin's cyst usually includes sitz baths to promote drainage, and sometimes includes surgical drainage depending on the severity of the symptoms. Doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics.
Bartholin's Cyst Self-Care at Home
Home treatment of Bartholin's cysts and abscesses involves sitz baths, which promote drainage. Special sitz bath basins are available, but the simplest method is to sit in the bathtub in a few inches of warm water. The water should not be so hot as to burn the skin, but it should be fairly warm. These soaks should be done for 10-15 minutes at a time, 3-4 times daily. This treatment is frequently all that is needed for Bartholin's cysts. Abscesses often require drainage by a doctor.
Bartholin's Cyst Medical Treatments
What Is a Surgery of Bartholin's Cyst?
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.
Bartholin's Cyst Follow-up
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/17/2016
R Daniel Braun, MD
Melissa Howell Kennedy, MD
Anthony Anker, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Lee P Shulman, MD
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