Definitive methods for treatment of a Bartholin cyst and abscess include placement of a Word catheter, marsupialization, application of silver nitrate, and surgical excision. Placement of a Word catheter is the most frequently employed technique for office and emergency department (ED) management. However, many institutions do not have the Word catheter available; in addition, the catheter has a tendency to dislodge before epithelialization, leading to recurrence of the cyst.
We have developed a simple technique for management of Bartholin gland abscess or cyst using readily available materials. This technique involves using a small loop of plastic tubing, which is secured to prevent expulsion before epithelialization of a drainage tract.
A 25-year-old woman presented to the ED with a Bartholin gland abscess. After administration of local anesthetic, a loop of tubing was placed, allowing for drainage of the abscess. The patient was discharged home with a course of oral antibiotics. At 3-week follow-up, the Bartholin gland abscess was found to be healed; the device was removed without difficulty, leaving two drainage tracts.
This technique may be used as an alternative to placement of a Word catheter for management of Bartholin gland abscess or cyst.