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Excision of a Bartholin's Cyst

What you should know

A Bartholin's cyst excision is surgery to remove or drain a Bartholin's cyst. A Bartholin's cyst is a lump on your labia. Inside the lump is a sac filled with fluid. The labia are the skin folds on each side of your vagina.

Picture of the anatomy of the female perineum

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


The risks of having your Bartholin's cyst removed or opened and drained are very small. There is a chance that you may bleed more or get an infection. These problems are usually easy to treat. You may have pain with sex or when walking if the cyst is not removed or drained. Call your caregiver if you are worried or have questions about your medicine or care.

Getting Ready

  • The Week Before Surgery:
    • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop taking aspirin or any other blood thinning medicines before your procedure.
    • You may need blood tests before your procedure. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time and location for each test.
  • The Night Before Surgery:
    • You may be given a sleeping pill.
    • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
  • The Day of Surgery:
    • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
    • Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of surgery. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of your medicines or the pill bottles with you to the hospital.
    • An anesthesiologist may talk to you before your surgery. He is the caregiver who gives you medicine to make you sleepy during surgery.
    • You will be asked to sign a consent form. It gives your caregiver permission to have the surgery. Be sure all your questions have been answered before you sign this form.
    • When you go home after surgery, someone should drive you. Do not drive yourself home.


  • What Will Happen:
    • You may be given medicine to help you relax or make you drowsy. You will be taken to the operating room on a cart. You may get medicine called local anesthesia that will numb the area of the cyst. Or, you may get general anesthesia to keep you completely asleep. You and your caregiver will decide which type is best for you.
    • With your feet in metal stirrups, the area between your legs will be cleaned with soap and water. This soap may make your skin yellow, but it will be cleaned off later. Sheets will be put over you. Your caregiver may cut out the cyst or open it to let it drain. The incision will either be sewn closed or left open to heal from the inside out.
  • After Your Procedure: You will be taken to a recovery room. You will be there until you either wake up or get the feeling back in the numbed area. You will then be able to go home or will be taken to your room. A bandage will cover your incision. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is OK.
  • Waiting Room: This is a room where your family can wait until you are ready for visitors after your procedure. Your doctor or nurse can then find them to let them know how the procedure went. If your family leaves the hospital, ask them to leave a phone number where they can be reached.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot be there at the time your procedure is to be done.
  • You have a fever.
  • The problems for which you are having the procedure get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about the procedure.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.