Miss Sandra Watson FRCOG Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician
Miss Sandra Watson FRCOGConsultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician

Bartholin Cysts

The Bartholin glands lie at either side of the vagina. They produce a mucous substance which lubricates the vagina during sexual intercourse.  Occasionally the gland duct becomes blocked and this causes a cyst.  Usually cysts are not very painful, but can be distressing and can interfere with intercourse or exercise. 


Bartholin Abscesses

Sometimes a Bartholin cyst becomes infected and an abscess forms.  This is usually extremely painful and requires urgent drainage of the abscess if it does not drain itself.  Antibiotics may also be required to treat the infection. 

Both Bartholin cysts and abscesses are treated by either a procedure called marsupialisation usually performed under General Anaesthesia or by inserting a small catheter into the gland using local anaesthetic in the clinic (Word Catheter).  Both techniques work very well, but it is common for cysts or abscesses to recur some time in the future whichever method of treatment is used.


Marsupialisation involves making a small incision and then placing some dissolvable sutures to hold the gland open.


The Word catheter is a flexible short tube which is placed into the gland after a small incision has been made and the contents of the gland have been drained and washed out.  Local anaesthetic is used to numb the area where the incision is to be made.  The catheter should stay in the gland for up to 4 weeks so that after it is removed the gland duct stays open to reduce the risk of a further blockage.

Private Practice Locations and Clinic Times 

The Holly Nuffield Private Hospital

High Road

Buckhurst Hill



Clinics Thursdays 8.30-12.00




Tel: 0208 936 1201




London Independent Hospital

Beaumont Square


E1 4NL


Clinics Thursdays 13.00-16.30




Tel: 0207 780 2400



Surgery is also performed at Spire London East Hospital, Redbridge IG4 5PZ       02087097878



For more information: contact my 

Private Secretary

Telephone: 07949782339


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