Vaginal cysts are sac-like lumps that contain fluid, air, or another substance. In most cases, vaginal cysts are painless and harmless. The cysts typically vary in size; some are too small to see while others could be up to the size of an orange. Vaginal cysts could occur due to several factors. Some of the leading causes of cysts are injuries during childbirth, a buildup of fluid in the vagina, and the occurrence of benign tumors in the vagina. If you are uncomfortable with a vaginal cyst or if the cyst keeps returning, you could undergo surgery to have it removed. If you are above the age of 40, it is advisable to have vaginal cysts removed because they could end up being cancerous. All Women's Care provides cyst removal and gynecological services in Los Angeles.
Types of Vaginal Cysts
The human body is susceptible to the development of bumps and lumps when you least expect it. It is common for people to get lumps and cysts without even knowing the cause of the lumps. Vaginal cysts can occur in different forms. Some of the common types of vaginal cysts are:
Inclusion cysts are the most common types of vaginal cysts. They are small and can occur at the lower back of your vaginal wall. Due to their small size, it is hard to notice inclusion cysts. The leading causes of inclusion cysts are injuries during childbirth or surgery.
Bartholin's Glands Cysts
The Bartholin's glands are located on either side of the vaginal opening. They are responsible for producing the substance that lubricates the labia (vaginal lips). It is common for obstruction to occur at the opening of these glands, leading to the accumulation of liquid in the vagina. The liquid collection could lead to a swelling known as a Bartholin's cyst. Usually, the cyst is painless; however, if an infection occurs in the cyst, pus could collect and lead to inflammation of the vaginal tissues commonly known as an abscess.
Many women develop Bartholin's cysts at some point in their lives. The ideal treatment for the cyst will depend on several factors, including the size of the cyst. The perfect treatment procedure will also depend on whether the cyst is painful or infected.
Sometimes, you do not have to seek medical treatment for a Bartholin's cysts because the cyst drains on its own. You might only require some home remedies to handle the cysts. However, in some other instances, you might need to see a gynecologist for surgical drainage of the vaginal cyst. If a Bartholin's cyst has an infection, the medical expert could recommend some antibiotics to treat the infected cyst.
Gartner's Duct Cysts
When a baby is born, the ducts in a developing embryo should disappear; however, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the ducts could remain and form vaginal cysts at a later stage in life.
Müllerian cysts could occur if some material remains behind as a baby develops. Typically, the cysts occur on the vagina; in most cases, they contain mucus.
Risk Factors and Causes of Vaginal Cysts
There are many risk factors and causes of vaginal cysts. The cause of a vaginal cyst will depend on the type of cyst. However, the typical causes of cysts are clogging of glands or ducts. Clogging makes liquids and other substances accumulate inside the vaginal tissues and glands, leading to cysts' formation.
Vaginal cysts could also occur due to trauma on the vaginal walls. For instance, inclusion cysts occur due to the pressure and the trauma exerted on the vaginal wall during childbirth. You could develop an inclusion cyst if you undergo episiotomy during childbirth. An episiotomy is a surgical cut that doctors make on the vaginal opening to enlarge it and make it easy for the baby to come out. Inclusion cysts could also occur if you undergo a surgery that strains the lining of your vagina.
Blocking of the opening of the Bartholin's gland is the cause of Bartholin's gland cysts. The blockage leads to the accumulation of fluid in the gland leading to fluid-filled sac. A Bartholin cyst could also result from several types of bacteria, including bacteria responsible for causing chlamydia and gonorrhea. Sometimes, a Bartholin's abscess could result from bacteria found in the intestinal tract, including the E.coli bacteria.
Symptoms of Vaginal Cysts
It may be hard to know that you have vaginal cysts because, in most cases, there is no pain in the vaginal cysts. You can tell that you have a small lump along your vaginal lips or your vaginal walls.
In most cases, your gynecologist will notice the vaginal cysts while conducting a routine vaginal examination. Women should undergo a gynecological exam at least once per year. During these examinations, your gynecologist can notice any peculiar features on your vaginal wall.
A vaginal cyst could keep growing or remain the same over time. Even if a vaginal cyst does not cause any pain, it could cause discomfort, especially if the cyst is huge. You could feel uncomfortable while walking with a tampon or when having sex.
An infected cyst is likely to cause some pain and discomfort. A cyst infection could result from the healthy bacteria that thrive on the skin. An infection could also occur due to a sexually transmitted infection. If a vaginal cyst forms an abscess, it could be excruciating. A cyst could also cause discomfort.
If you realize that you have a vaginal cyst, it is essential to have a gynecologist inspect the cyst to ensure that it is not cancerous. You should seek immediate medical attention if a cyst is painful or if it has a sign of infection. A common symptom of infection is the presence of pus and a foul smell.
Treating Vaginal Cysts
In most cases, the treatment of vaginal cysts is not necessary since most cysts remain small and do not pose any challenges. Your doctor might only need to examine and monitor the vaginal cysts during your routine vaginal examinations. You should seek treatment if the cyst makes you feel uncomfortable. A gynecologist can use different treatment methods to treat vaginal cysts. The typical treatment methods are:
Your gynecologist could recommend antibiotics to treat a vaginal cyst if it is infected. Antibiotics will also be ideal if you have a sexually transmitted infection. However, if your gynecologist can fully drain the vaginal cyst, antibiotics might not be necessary.
You can relieve the discomfort that comes from vaginal cysts by taking a sitz bath. A sitz bath entails sitting in a bathtub full of warm water several times a day. You might have to repeat the procedure for 3-4 days. The frequent warm bath could make tiny vaginal cysts burst and drain the contents. When the cysts drain, you might not be required to seek medical attention.
The marsupialization procedure is ideal for cysts that are bothersome and keep recurring. It entails stitching both sides of a drainage incision. This procedure helps to create permanent drainage, which helps prevent cyst formation. After conducting the process, a gynecologist could place a rubber tube to promote adequate drainage. You might have to remain with the tube for several days after the procedure to ensure that the cysts do not recur.
Removal of Bartholin's Cysts
The removal of Bartholin's cysts is also a possible treatment procedure. However, gynecologists rarely use this form of treatment.
Surgical drainage is vital in cases where you have a sizable vaginal cyst or an infected vaginal cyst. Your gynecologist will use local anesthesia to eliminate pain. The surgical drainage involves making a small incision into the cyst and draining its contents. After draining the cyst, the doctor could place a small rubber tube in the incision to ensure that the cyst drains fully. For complete drainage of the cyst, it might be necessary to remain with the rubber tube for several weeks.
Your gynecologist could conduct surgery to remove the entire cyst if the cyst is large and makes you feel uncomfortable. Surgery could also be a good option for treating vaginal cysts that keep recurring. For women above the age of 40, it is advisable to remove vaginal cysts because they might end up being cancerous. A cyst is not likely to recur after surgery.
Before the gynecologist decides on the proper treatment method for treating vaginal cysts, you might have to undergo a biopsy to rule out the presence of cancer. While conducting a biopsy, your healthcare professional will remove a small tissue from the cyst. He/she will then examine the tissue to determine whether it is cancerous.
Preparing for Surgical Cyst Removal
If you are scheduled for surgical removal of vaginal cysts, you could be wondering about how to prepare in advance. It is essential to understand what the surgery entails, its benefits, as well as the likely risks. Here is how you should prepare for surgical removal of vaginal cysts:
- Before the surgery, it is crucial to inform your doctor about any medicines you could be taking. For instance, you should ensure that you reveal any form of supplements, vitamins, health products, and herbal remedies. Some medications and supplements could interfere with the way you interact with anesthesia. Some medications could also lead to excessive bleeding during surgery. Therefore, to avoid unexpected risks during surgery, you should reveal all the crucial details to the doctor.
- It is advisable to temporarily stop taking the drugs before the surgery if you are on medications like aspirin or other blood thinners. Ensure that you seek the counsel of the doctor and follow all the necessary instructions. Consuming blood thinners before a vaginal cyst removal surgery could cause excessive bleeding. You might have to stop taking certain medications one week before the surgery.
- Depending on the state of your health, you might have to visit your primary doctor or specialist a few days before the surgery. Your doctor will examine and determine whether you are fit to undergo vaginal surgery to remove vaginal cysts.
- It is also advisable to stop smoking some weeks before undergoing vaginal surgery. Smokers could have a hard time breathing during surgery. Smokers might also take longer to recover from vaginal surgery. It is advisable to stop smoking 6-8 weeks before undergoing surgery. In case you are unable to smoke before undergoing surgery, you could rely on a nicotine patch while at the hospital.
- Some people may require bowel prep before undergoing vaginal surgery. Your gynecologist will decide whether you need bowel prep during your preoperative The role of bowel prep is to clean your bowel, and the procedure is often completed on the night before the surgery.
On the Day of Surgery
Surgery can be a stressful experience. However, you can enjoy some calm by preparing in advance and knowing what to expect. On the day of surgery, you might have to avoid eating; however, this will depend on your gynecologist's instructions. If the doctor advises you to avoid eating or drinking on the actual day of surgery, ensure that you adhere to the instructions. Failing to follow instructions could lead to postponement of the surgery. If you have to take some medication on the day of surgery, you could take them with a sip of water.
Ensure that you take a thorough shower before you go in for surgery. However, it is essential to ensure that you do not apply lotions, deodorants, or perfumes, especially at the surgical site. Although you might feel tempted, you should avoid shaving the surgical site on your own and let your gynecologist handle everything.
You should take out all jewelry; you might even have to take out your contact lenses if you have them. Before conducting the surgery, your gynecologist will mark the surgery area carefully to avoid making any errors. You do not have to fear because your doctor will ensure that you are comfortable during the surgery. Your anesthesia provider could make you sleep or only numb the surgical site.
The doctor could place compression stockings on your legs during the vaginal surgery. The role of the stockings is to prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs during surgery. The stockings could remain on your legs until you can start walking. If you are prone to blood clotting, the doctor could give you a thinning blood medication to prevent blood clots during surgery.
Before the start of the surgery, the doctor might insert a tube into your bladder. The role of the tube is to monitor the amount of urine coming out during the operation. However, soon after the operation, the tube will be removed.
The Risks of Vaginal Cysts Removal Surgery
You do not have to worry about the risks of vaginal cysts removal because doctors work hard to ensure that all goes well. However, even with proper planning, problems can still occur. Some of the risks that you could face while undergoing vaginal surgery are:
You could face the risk of excessive bleeding while undergoing vaginal surgery. If this problem occurs, you could receive a blood transfusion to raise the amount of blood in your body. Some patients could have some reservations regarding blood transfusion, usually for religious or personal reasons. If you are not comfortable with a blood transfusion, you should inform your doctor before the surgery.
Bladder or Ureter Damage
During a vaginal cyst removal surgery, the organs situated close to the vagina could be at risk of damage. These organs include the bladder, the ureters, the bowel, and the uterus. However, damage to these organs during vaginal surgery is rare and occurs in less than 1% of the cases. If there is damage to any of these organs while you are in surgery, the doctors will correct the damage while you are still in surgery.
In all types of surgery, there is a risk of death. However, some surgeries have a higher risk of death than others. The risk of dying in vaginal surgery is minimal.
After the Surgery
The length of the surgery could vary from one person to the other. You should be able to go home 1 to 6 hours after the surgery. You will probably need several weeks to recover. After undergoing surgery, you might have to abstain from having sex for a minimum of two weeks or until your vulva heals fully.
After surgery to remove vaginal cysts, the pain and the discomfort resulting from the cysts should go. However, some women require undergoing several surgeries before they fully get rid of vaginal cysts.
After undergoing surgery, follow up is crucial to ensure that you are the right recovery track. If you have followed up appointments with your gynecologist, you should ensure that you honor the appointments. You should never miss a follow-up appointment just because you feel healed. If you experience any problems during the recovery period, ensure that you get in touch with your gynecologist.
When leaving the gynecologist's clinic to your home, you should ensure that you have someone to drive you. Due to the anesthesia and the pain medication, you are likely to feel drowsy. Therefore, it would not be safe for you to drive.
Your medical expert could give you some additional instructions to follow as you recover from a vaginal removal surgery. For instance, you might have to adhere to a certain diet. You might also have to avoid certain activities before you get back to your normal routine.
Possible Risks After Surgery
After undergoing vaginal surgery to remove vaginal cysts, most patients go home on the same day. However, patients could still be at risk days or weeks after surgery. It is important for a patient to be alert and to look out warning signs after surgery.
A blood clot in the legs or another place like the lungs is a possible risk after undergoing vaginal surgery. Some indicators of this complication include shortness of breath, chest pains, and leg pain and swelling. If you notice these symptoms days or even weeks after undergoing surgery, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Infection is also a possible risk after undergoing vaginal surgery to remove cysts. You could tell that you have an infection if you experience stinging and pain while passing urine. If you experience a persistent urge to pass urine, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Other signs of infection include pain, swelling, redness, and fever. If you experience any of the mentioned signs, you should contact your doctor immediately.
You could also have scar tissue at the surgical site. Usually, scar tissue is thicker than the surrounding skin. In the first few days or weeks after undergoing vaginal surgery, you could experience pain and discomfort at the scar tissue.
You might also be at risk of recurrence of vaginal cysts even after undergoing a vaginal surgery. Some women are only able to get rid of vaginal cysts and to prevent them from occurring after undergoing several surgeries.
While at home after surgery, you should call your doctor if you develop a high fever that exceeds 100.4°F (38°C). You should also seek immediate medical attention if you start experiencing heavy bleeding. You can tell that you have heavy bleeding if you soak a pad in one hour or less. If you experience heavy vaginal discharge with a foul odor, you should seek immediate treatment.
Other warning signs could include developing a rash, nausea and breathing, and severe pain in the pelvic area, which does not end despite taking medication.
Find an Experienced Gynecologist Near Me
If you are suffering from vaginal cysts that make you feel uncomfortable, you could consider the removal of vaginal cysts. Your gynecologist could recommend other methods of getting rid of the cysts. However, if the cysts are large, persistent, and keep recurring, surgery could be the best option. For the best vaginal surgery services in Los Angeles, contact All Women’s Care at 213-250-9461 and speak to a medical expert.