Removal of Vaginal Cysts
Vaginal cysts are pockets filled with fluid, pus, or air found on the vaginal lining or under it. They resemble lumps and are typically not painful or harmful. Some of them are small to the naked eye, while others can grow and cause discomfort. There are various types of cysts, and their cause depends on its type. Although cysts can be treated with antibiotics when they cause infections, some can keep recurring, making your life uncomfortable.
When the cysts become so big or keep recurring, the best way to treat them permanently involves a surgical procedure for their removal. When you suspect to have vaginal cysts, speaking to an experienced gynecologist from Gyn LA will help you establish their type and best method to treat them.
Causes of Vaginal Cysts
Typically, vaginal cysts develop when a duct or gland blocks, causing accumulation of liquid, air, or other materials. Different things cause different vaginal cysts. For instance, trauma on the vaginal wall can result in inclusion cysts. During childbirth, a woman gets episiotomy or any surgical procedure damaging the vaginal lining occurs; the trauma leads to the inclusion cyst.
On the other hand, if the Bartholin gland gets clogged or blocked by skin, one may develop a sack filled with liquid or air. This type of cyst is known as Bartholin’s gland cyst. Bacterial infections like those leading to sexually transmitted illnesses like Chlamydia or gonorrhea can also lead to this type of cyst. The human intestines also house the E. coli bacteria, which can result in Bartholin’s sacs.
Symptoms of Vaginal Cysts
Usually, no symptoms are linked to vaginal cysts. Women often discover vaginal cysts during everyday things. For instance, one can notice a lump showing from the vaginal wall or experience discomfort and pain during intercourse. When a woman inserts a tampon, they may experience discomfort as well and cause them to see a gynecologist.
Because most cysts are not painful, most women realize they have a cyst during a routine gynecological exam. When your doctor discovers it, he or she will advise on treatment methods depending on its size. Some cysts such as Bartholin’s abscesses become large, causing discomfort when walking. In such cases, your doctor can recommend a surgical procedure to remove it and prevent it from recurring.
If a lump or mass is discovered during your regular pelvic exam, your medical background will be reviewed. The doctor will also ask you if you are experiencing any symptoms and recommend further tests to eliminate other conditions. Some of the tests include:
- Carrying out a biopsy exam on a sample tissue to check for vaginal cancer and rule it out,
- Testing of vaginal discharges or secretions from the cervix to eliminate a sexually transmitted disease,
- Having an ultrasound, CT, or MRI scan to see the cyst in detail.
When other conditions are eliminated, the doctor may opt to monitor the behavior of the cyst. If you begin to experience severe symptoms or the cyst grows in size, a surgical procedure to remove it may be the best option. If you experience abscesses or infections due to the cyst, you will be given antibiotics to treat the condition.
Sometimes, your doctor may recommend draining your vaginal cyst. When a cyst becomes large due to its fluid, a tiny catheter tube is inserted to remove it. Your doctor can also drain the cyst by making a small incision, a process referred to as marsupialization.
If surgery is recommended to eliminate the cyst either because it has overgrown or keeps recurring, you will need to prepare for it. Surgery is mostly recommended for women above 40 because of the risk of developing cancer. It is usually permanently removed when a cyst is treated through a surgical procedure, meaning it will not recur.
Preparing for Surgery
If surgery has been recommended; you will need to get ready for it by doing a few things. These include:
- Before going for surgery, you will be scheduled for a pre-operation appointment at your doctor’s office or an assistant.
- As your medical history is taken, if there are any concerns, you may be referred to your primary physician, an anesthesiologist, or a specialist to ensure you are fit for surgery.
- Before surgery, some lab work is usually carried out. This is generally done three days before your operation during your pre-operation appointment.
- During the preoperative visit, you must disclose any medications you are taking. There are some medications you will be asked to stop before your surgery.
- Smoking can result in breathing complications during surgery. Healing for smokers is also slower compared to non-smokers. If one is a smoker, stopping the habit between six and eight weeks prior is recommended. If it becomes impossible for you to stop smoking, a nicotine patch can be ordered for you in the hospital.
- During your pre-operation appointment, you will be told if you require bowel prep during your surgery. If so, you will get notified of the type to use. The process must be completed a day before surgery.
- Before coming for surgery, you will be asked to shower from home, and instructions on how to do it are provided during your preoperative visit.
- On the day of surgery, you will be asked not to have any makeup on, lotion, nail polish, antiperspirant, or lotion.
- If you have any piercings, remove the jewelry and also acrylic nails if you have.
You mustn’t ignore any directives by your physician or withhold any information from them. Doing this can adversely affect you during surgery or recovery time.
Expectations During Surgery
You will encounter a few things when the day of surgery comes, and you are in the operating theater. These include:
- A sedation spinal or general anesthesia is administered. Based on your medical history and desire, the anesthesiologist may suggest the best suitable anesthesia to use.
- Blood clots can form on your legs during surgery. In preventing this from happening, compression stockings are placed. You will be expected to keep the socks on until you begin to walk actively. If your doctor establishes that you are at a risk of forming blood clots, medication helping in blood-thinning is administered.
- Monitoring the amount of urine you release during surgery is essential. In doing this, your bladder is inserted with a tube that is removed immediately after the operation.
- Once all the preparations are completed in the operating room, your surgeon will operate and remove the cysts from your vaginal wall. After the successful removal of the cysts, you will be taken to the recovery room where your progress is monitored.
Possible Risks during the Removal of Vaginal Cysts Surgery
Doctors work hard to make sure no problems arise out of surgery and that the procedure is safe. However, problems can still occur. Being aware of the possible issues and corrective measures are critical to your wellbeing. Some of the potential issues that may come up include:
- Bleeding – After a surgical procedure, it is normal for a person to bleed. However, when the bleeding is excessive, it can be dangerous and will require a blood transfusion. Some people have religious or personal reasons to decline blood transfusion. If this is the case, discussing it with your doctor before the surgery is critical.
- Damages to the ureters, bladder, bowel, and uterus – Although this is a highly unlikely risk, does happen in about 1% or less of surgeries. If damage occurs to any of these body parts, your surgeon will notice and repair it during the procedure.
- Converting the process into a laparoscopic or open surgery that will require bikini or an up and down incision – A surgical procedure to remove a cyst will not require an incision to the abdomen. But, if it is needed, your hospital stay will extend by a day or two.
- Death – This is the scariest of all risks. Although it is highly unlikely, every form of surgery has a chance of dying. Operations to remove vaginal cysts are not complicated, but depending on the patient, the risk of death is likely.
Risks after Surgery
Healing from this type of surgical procedure is usually without complications or risks. But, sometimes issues during the healing time do come up. Some of the risks include:
- Formation of blood clots – As one is recovering from a surgical procedure, they risk developing blood clots in their lungs or legs. If you experience pain and swelling on their legs, chest pains, or find it difficult to breathe, you are likely to have blood clots. Speaking to your doctor is critical to your wellbeing.
- Infections – A surgical procedure in your vaginal walls can result in the contamination of the wound. If you feel that you need to pass urine all the time, or pain and stinging as you pass urine, you may have an infection. When you experience fever, swelling, pain, or redness in the area, your wound may be infected.
- Scar tissue – This is when a thicker tissue more than the healthy skin develops on the injury. You may experience some discomfort due to this tissue.
- Dyspareunia – This kind of discomfort happens when some women resume sexual activities. When you have trouble or pain during intercourse, talk to your doctor to ascertain the problem.
What Happens Post Surgery
After the successful completion of your surgery, you will expect the following:
- You will get transferred to another room where you recover from the effects of the anesthesia. While recovering, you will be monitored for some time. If you are strong enough, you will get discharged and go home the same day; if not, your stay may get extended for a day or two.
- Some people get nauseated post-surgery, and others experience pain. If this happens, you receive the required medicine to manage the conditions.
- If you get discharged on the same day, the tube to your bladder is removed. If you require an overnight hospital stay, the tube may stay in place until the following day. Your bladder will also slowly return to its normal functioning.
- Additionally, your compression stockings remain in place until you leave the hospital. This is essential in preventing blood clots from forming.
- An overnight hospital stay may result in you getting a plastic device that helps you enhance your lung capacity by taking deep breaths.
- If you were on some medications and ordered to stop before surgery, you can start retaking them.
- Some women feel bloated and have cramps
- Some women may notice a discharge either in red, black, or brown.
- Your doctor will also encourage you to walk because it aids in recovery.
Going Home Post Surgery
Surgeries to remove vaginal cysts are simple, and in most cases, you will go home the same day. When at home, you need to be aware of the following and call your doctor if you notice any of them. These are:
- You develop a high fever of 38 degrees
- If your bleeding is heavy such that you use a pad each hour
- Your pelvic area or vagina is in great pain
- If you experience heavy discharge and bad odor
- If you feel nauseated and vomit regularly
- If your breathing is difficult and you have pain in your chest
- When your legs develop swelling, pain or redness
Caring for your incision is also critical to your recovery. Typically, your surgeon will close the area with stitches that dissolve with time. When you move the bowel, be careful how you wipe to avoid infection, start from the front moving backward.
While at home, you can eat all types of foods provided you are okay with it. If you experience regular discomfort, taking the prescribed pain medication, as indicated by the doctor, is permissible. Unfortunately, pain medications cause constipation in some women. As you use them, you may consider taking a stool softener.
As you recover from home, your doctor will advise you about the activities you can engage in. Avoid strenuous activities until you recover fully. Light exercises are acceptable and enhance your healing process. Your doctor will also let you know when to visit the clinic for a checkup after the surgery.
Find a Gynecologist Near Me
Having a healthy life is critical for every person. When you discover you have cysts, and your doctor advises surgery, it is essential to adhere to the advice. Ensure to find an experienced gynecologist from Gyn LA that will discuss with you the various options available to you and help you make the best decision. Call us today at 310-375-8446 to schedule an appointment and discuss your health.