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Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage

Last updated April 20, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

A Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure involves removal of the cyst and drainage of the abscess that is a result of blockage in Bartholin’s gland.


Background Information:

What are the other Names for the Procedure?

  • Drainage of Bartholin's Gland
  • Drainage of Bartholin’s Abscess
  • Incision and Drainage of Bartholin's Gland

What is Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

  • A Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure involves removal of the cyst and drainage of the abscess that is a result of blockage in Bartholin’s gland
  • Bartholin’s glands are two small structures that are present at the base of either side of the vaginal opening of a female

What part of the Body does the Procedure involve?

Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure involves the Bartholin’s glands and vaginal lips.

Why is the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure Performed?

Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure is performed to treat cyst and abscess formation in the glands and also to prevent the occurrence of any further infection.

What are some Alternative Choices for the Procedure?

To treat abscess formation and Bartholin’s gland cyst, Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure remains a gold standard technique.

What are the Recent Advances in the Procedure?

Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage is a very good procedure to treat abscess formation. No recent advances are reported.

What is the Cost of performing the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

The cost of Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of your health insurance, annual deductibles, co-pay requirements, out-of-network and in-network of your healthcare providers and healthcare facilities.

In many cases, an estimate may be provided before the procedure. The final amount depends upon the findings during the surgery/procedure and post-operative care that is necessary.

When do you need a Second Opinion, prior to the Procedure?

  • It is normal for a patient to feel uncomfortable and confused by the information regarding Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure and on what needs to be done
  • If the patient needs further reassurance or a second opinion, a physician will almost always assist and also recommend another physician, if required

What are some Helpful Resources?

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bartholin_cyst/page10_em.htm#Outlook

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/bartholins-abscess/overview.html

Prior to Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure:

How is the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure Performed?

  • A small incision is made on the vaginal lips over the point where abscess formation is noted. A catheter is placed in the incision to aid in drainage and quick healing
  • Alternatively, a tiny incision is made on the edges of both the glands; their linings are folded and sewn together with soluble sutures. This helps in draining the abscess and is known as marsupialization

Where is the Procedure Performed?

Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure is usually performed in an out-patient surgery center facility, a physician’s clinic/office or a hospital. Normally, the person can go home once the procedure is completed. However, in some cases the patient may be kept under observation for a period of time, under advice by the physician.

Who Performs the Procedure?

The procedure is performed either by an obstetrician, a gynecologist, a qualified physician, or a general surgeon with assistance from an anesthesiologist.

How long will the Procedure take?

The procedure may take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour.

What do you need to tell your Physician before the Procedure?

It is very important to provide the following information to your healthcare provider. This enables your healthcare provider in assessing the risks for the surgical procedure and helps avoid unnecessary complications.

  • Provide a complete list of medications you are currently, taking to your physician. This information is useful for a variety of reasons. For example, it can help your healthcare provider prevent complications due to a drug interaction
  • If you are allergic to any specific medication or food items
  • If you are taking blood thinners, such as aspirin, warfarin, herbal supplements, or any other such medications
  • If you or your family members, have a history of bleeding disorders, or if there is a tendency to bleed more than normal
  • If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, chest pains, or have previously suffered from a heart attack
  • If you have ever been diagnosed with blood clots in your leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lung (embolism of lung)
  • If you have a history of frequent bone fractures (this may affect bone-healing, if bones are involved as part of your procedure)
  • A list of all previous surgical procedures you have undergone, like for example: Removal of appendix, gallbladder, or any other part, of your body; surgical repair of any body part, such as hernia repair, perforation of bowel wall, etc.

What Preparations are needed, prior to the Procedure?

  • The physician may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain information related to the overall health status including the medications that are being currently taken
  • Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time, before the procedure is performed
  • Local anesthesia may be used; hence, do inform the physician if you are allergic to any local anesthetics, lidocaine, etc.
  • Avoid application of topical medicines on the area, prior to the procedure
  • The physician will request your consent for the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure using an informed Consent Form.

What is the Consent Process before the Procedure?

The physician will request your consent for the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure using an informed Consent Form.

Consent for the Procedure: A “consent” is your approval to undergo a procedure. A consent form is signed after the risks and benefits of the procedure, and alternative treatment options, are discussed. This process is called informed consent.

You must sign the forms only after you are totally satisfied by the answers to your questions. In case of minors and individuals unable to personally give their consent, the individual’s legal guardian or next of kin, shall give their consent for the procedure.

What Tests are needed, before the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

Prior to the procedure the physician may ask for urine analysis, certain blood tests, and a pathological examination of vaginal discharge.

What are some Questions for your Physician?

Some basic questions that the patient could ask the physician are

  • What is Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure?
  • Is this procedure necessary?
  • Can oral medicines solve the problem?
  • What does the procedure involve?
  • How will this procedure help?
  • How soon should I get it done? Is it an emergency?
  • Who are the medical personnel involved in this procedure?
  • Where is the procedure performed?
  • What are the risks while performing the procedure?
  • What are the complications that might take place during recovery?
  • How long will it take to recover? When can I resume normal work?
  • Are there any follow-up tests, periodic visits to the healthcare facility required, after the procedure?
  • How many such procedures have you performed?
  • What are the costs involved?

During the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure:

What kind of Anesthesia is given, during the Procedure?

During the procedure the patient may be administered local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or general anesthesia. When general anesthesia is necessary, the procedure is usually performed at the surgical facility of a hospital.

How much Blood will you lose, during the Procedure?

The amount of blood loss is generally minimal, since the procedure requires only a small incision. But, if complications arise during the procedure, it could lead to further loss of blood.

What are the possible Risks and Complications during the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

The possible risks or complications that may arise during a surgery are:

  • Infection
  • Accidental injury to the neighboring tissue
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Anesthetic complications

What Post-Operative Care is needed at the Healthcare Facility after the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

At the healthcare facility, generally there is no requirement for any post-procedure care, unless any complications arise.

After the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure:

What are the possible Risks and Complications after the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

The possible risks and complications that may arise after Drainage of Bartholin's Gland are:

  • Recurrence of the problem
  • Surgical wound infection

What is the Prognosis after the Surgery?

The prognosis from the procedure is excellent. However, there is a 10% chance of a recurrence of the condition.

When do you need to call your Physician?

Do contact your physician if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Increasing pain around the surgical wound
  • Swelling and redness
  • Bleeding or fluid drainage
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Signs of infection

What Post-Operative Care is needed at Home after the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

At home, the following post-operative care is recommended, after Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure:

  • Keep the incision site clean and dry
  • Use warm compress to relieve incisional pain
  • Use cotton underwear
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes
  • Avoided strenuous exercises for 4 weeks
  • Resume regular/daily activities only after complete recovery (under advise from the physician)
  • Avoid taking non-prescribed medications

How long does it normally take to fully recover, from the Procedure?

It takes about 2 weeks to completely recover from Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure.

Additional Information:

What happens to tissue (if any), taken out during the Procedure?

Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure does not involve the surgical removal of any tissue.

When should you expect results from the pathologist regarding tissue taken out, during the Procedure?

Since no tissue is removed during the procedure, a pathologist does not get involved in the care of the patient.

Who will you receive a Bill from, after the Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage surgical procedure?

It is important to note that the number of bills that the patient may receive depends on the arrangement the healthcare facility has with the physician and other healthcare providers.

Sometimes, the patient may get a single bill that includes the healthcare facility and the consultant physician charges. Sometimes, the patient might get multiple bills depending on the healthcare provider involved. For instance, the patient may get a bill from:

  • The outpatient facility, physician’s office or hospital
  • An obstetrician, a gynecologist, a family physician or a general surgeon
  • An anesthesiologist (if anesthesia was administered)

The patient is advised to inquire and confirm the type of billing, before Bartholin’s Gland Abscess Drainage procedure is performed.

Thanks and Gratitude:

We sincerely acknowledge and thank Dr. Douglas J. Jones for reviewing the article. His valuable input and feedback has helped enrich the contents of this article.

Douglas J. Jones, MD FACS
Board Certified General Surgeon and Faculty Member
University of Illinois, College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
506 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: May 22, 2013
Last updated: April 20, 2018