Lancing and Draining of Bartholin's Cyst - A treatment for Bartholin's cyst
I've had a recurring Bartholin's cyst since 2008 that has always been painless and no larger than a grape. It's always gone away on its own after a few days.
It came back on 8/14, the same day as the start of my period, and grew larger than ever before (about the size of a large prune) and came to be extremely painful. I had no symptoms of infection, so I opted for home treatment of hot sitz baths with epsom salts, baking soda, or just plain water. I also tried hot compresses and exercise, but the cyst just kept getting bigger (the size of a circus peanut) and more painful. I then decided to try other home treatments of witch hazel and tea tree oil which did nothing at all, garlic which just burned the raw skin, ice packs and ibuprofen which did significantly reduce the swelling/fluid.
I was determined to let the cyst resolve on its own especially because I'm unemployed and have no insurance, but after 9 days of home treatment with no relief, I went to the OB/GYN on 8/24 to have it lanced.
The Dr. explained that he would wash the area, give a shot of lidocaine that would pinch and burn, but that I shouldn't feel much when he cut into the cyst with a scalpel to drain the fluid.
The lidocaine shot did pinch, and was a bit uncomfortable. It did not prevent my from feeling the scalpel, however. The lancing was very painful, and felt exactly how you might think someone fidgeting with a sharp knife in your vulva might feel, but I did feel a rush of fluid drain out.
The Dr. then suggested that he place a Word catheter to help the cut heal open so the gland will be able to drain and prevent another cyst. However, the catheter is made of latex, so I couldn't have that placed due to an allergy.
Instead, he packed the cyst with gauze thread the width of a fingernail and left a tail of gauze hanging out of the cut. This part was very painful, as well. He was having some trouble getting the gauze into the cyst, and actually found and lanced another cyst in the process. When the gauze packing was in the cyst, it was all over. He suggested that I take some percocet for pain, and take a lot of sitz baths over the next several days.
The cyst immediately felt way better.
Over the next few days, the cyst felt fine, for the most part, but would occasionally be fairly tender - particularly if the gauze got tugged. I never filled the script for percocet, and didn't require other painkillers.
I went in for a follow up appointment on 8/27, and the Dr. let me know that removing the gauze was going to be pretty painful. This Dr. then actually offered to leave the room to let me remove the gauze myself at my own pace, and then she came back to check it out. Removing the packing on my own was much easier than her initial attempt, but was still quite painful, particularly at first. She came back in and said it was healing well, and recommended to continue taking a lot of sitz baths for several more days in just plain warm/hot water. It's now 8/29 and it feels totally normal.
The lancing/draining appointment without insurance cost $256 and the follow-up appointment had no charge.