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Incision and drainage of Bartholin's gland abscess

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Incision and Drainage of Bartholin's Gland Abscess

  • Common Name: I&D of Bartholin's abscess
  • Technical Term: Marsupialization


This procedure involves making a small cut to drain an abscess (a painful collection of pus) in the Bartholin's gland. The gland is located near the opening of the vagina and can become infected and swollen.


  • Addresses medical condition: Bartholin's gland abscess.
  • Goals: To relieve pain and pressure, drain the abscess, and prevent recurrence of infection.


  • Symptoms: Severe pain, swelling, and redness in the vaginal area. Difficulty walking or sitting.
  • Conditions: Diagnosis of an abscess in the Bartholin's gland.


  • Pre-procedure Instructions: Patients may be advised to fast if general anesthesia is used. Avoid taking certain medications as per doctor's instructions.
  • Diagnostic Tests: Physical exam and sometimes an ultrasound or culture of the discharge.

Procedure Description

  1. The patient is positioned comfortably, usually in a gynecological exam position.
  2. Local anesthesia or sedation is administered to minimize discomfort.
  3. A small incision is made in the abscess to allow the pus to drain out.
  4. The area is irrigated to clean out any residual infection.
  5. Sometimes a small catheter or a word catheter is placed to keep the incision open and promote continuous drainage for a few days.
  6. The incision may be left open to heal on its own or stitched in a way to promote drainage.


  • The procedure typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes.


  • Performed in outpatient clinics, hospital outpatient departments, or surgical centers.


  • Healthcare professionals: Gynecologist or surgeon, assisted by nurses.

    Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Mild bleeding, infection at the site, pain.
  • Rare Complications: Recurrence of the abscess, scarring, persistent draining site.


  • Expected Benefits: Relief from pain, reduced swelling, elimination of infection.
  • Realization of Benefits: Often immediate relief from pain and discomfort.


  • Post-procedure Care: Keep the area clean and dry, take prescribed antibiotics, and pain medications as advised.
  • Recovery Time: Usually, a few days to a week. Avoid sexual intercourse and strenuous activities until completely healed.
  • Follow-up: A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled to ensure proper healing.


  • Other Treatment Options: Antibiotics alone, warm sitz baths for mild cases, and marsupialization for recurrent abscesses.
  • Pros and Cons: Antibiotics may not always be effective alone, and marsupialization has a longer recovery time but is more definitive.

Patient Experience

  • During the Procedure: With local anesthesia, some pressure or slight discomfort may be felt. General anesthesia ensures the patient is asleep and feels nothing.
  • After the Procedure: Mild to moderate pain, managed with medications. Discomfort from the catheter, if used, and minor bleeding.
  • Pain Management: Prescribed pain relievers and over-the-counter options like ibuprofen. Warm sitz baths can ease discomfort.

This markdown description offers a comprehensive overview of the Incision and drainage of Bartholin's gland abscess procedure, including key details that would help both medical professionals and patients understand the process.

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