Laser Ablation of Bartholin's Cysts


Dr. Stepp is one of the few surgeons in the US performing CO2 laser ablation to treat recurrent Bartholin's Cysts. Since first described in Brazil in 2016, CO2 laser ablation for Bartholin's cysts is an innovative minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat Bartholin's cysts or abscesses. Bartholin's glands are located on either side of the vaginal opening and are responsible for a small portion of vaginal lubrication. When the ducts of these glands become blocked, fluid accumulates, forming a cyst. In some cases, the cyst can become infected, leading to an abscess.

Traditional options for Bartholin's cysts include incision and drainage, marsupialization, or fistulization with a Word catheter, or complete removal of the gland. Laser ablation provides a less invasive option.

Laser ablation involves the use of a laser to precisely remove the cyst or abscess. Here's how the procedure typically works:

  1. A small incision may be made over the cyst or abscess to allow drainage and access to the affected Bartholin's gland.
  2. A laser device is inserted into the incision site. The laser energy is used to vaporize or remove the cyst or abscess tissue, as well as any scar tissue or blockages within the Bartholin's gland duct.
  3. After the cyst or abscess is ablated, the incision may be closed with stitches or left open to heal naturally, depending on the size and severity of the cyst or abscess.
  4. Recovery time after laser ablation for Bartholin's cysts is typically shorter compared to traditional surgical techniques. Patients may experience some discomfort, swelling, or mild vaginal bleeding following the procedure. Pain medications and sitz baths (soaking the pelvic area in warm water) may be recommended to help with post-operative discomfort and promote healing.

Laser ablation offers several advantages over traditional surgical techniques for Bartholin's cysts, including:

However, like any surgical procedure, laser ablation for Bartholin's cysts carries some risks, including infection, bleeding, scarring, and recurrence of the cyst or abscess.