The bartholin gland cyst: past, present, and future

J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2004 Jul;8(3):195-204. doi: 10.1097/00128360-200407000-00006.


Bartholin gland cysts account for 2% of all gynecologic visits per year. The treatment of Bartholin gland cysts has evolved from a complicated, bloody procedure requiring general anesthesia to, most recently, a simple puncture of the cyst and placement of a drain performed in the office. Although treatments for Bartholin gland cysts seem simple on the surface, recurrent cysts as well as diagnosing simple cysts versus abscesses versus malignant tumors can complicate treatment for this common problem. This article exams a history of the treatment of Bartholin gland cysts, including the use of the traditional treatments of excision, fistulization, marsupialization, as well as cauterization with carbon dioxide laser and silver nitrate. Modern variations are discussed, including the use of hydrodissection for excision, as well as the application of magnetic resonance imaging use in devising treatment for recurrent cysts.