Will I be in pain following surgery to remove a vulvar cyst?

Lumps or swellings on the sides of the vaginal entrance are known as Bartholin cysts, a type of vulvar cyst. For cysts that are large in size and painful, the best treatment is surgical drainage.

The procedure to drain the vulvar cyst usually takes place in the doctor’s clinic or emergency room of a hospital. After local anesthetic is injected into the area, an incision is made and the infection is drained. The cyst cavity is them covered with a gauze packing. A small catheter may also be inserted into the cavity so that it stays open and allows for further drainage. The gauze dressing is removed after a day or two, but the catheter may be kept for some weeks to reduce the risk of recurrence. Surgical drainage of a cyst can lead to some amount of pain and discomfort since local anesthetic is not very effective in inflamed tissue. In some cases, especially when the cyst is large in size, medications for pain relief and sedation may be administered intravenously. You can discuss with your doctor if such medications are appropriate for you. Once the drainage is complete, antibiotic treatment is not required in most cases. But if your doctor suspects a risk of urinary tract or vaginal infection, he may prescribe some antibiotics.

Here are some tips for self-care after surgical drainage of a vulvar cyst;

  • A day or two after drainage, a follow-up is necessary to monitor the condition and remove the gauze packing. Sitz baths should be taken in the meantime to promote further drainage.
  • In the event the packing comes off prematurely, contact your doctor.
  • If you are prescribed pain medication, take the proper course for its full duration.
  • Consult your doctor if you experience symptoms such as pain, swelling, fever or vaginal discharge.

answered by G M

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