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It's extremely hard to find any positive experiences of this surgery, and even the horror stories are almost slim to none. This is such a common problem and the longer I've had these cysts, the more people I've realized get them too and I'm not the only one. I hope this helps someone going through the same thing because I get it. It's AWFUL.
I have had 8 Bartholin cysts, which became infected every time in the last 7 years. I am 23 now and I got my first at 16. About a year ago, I had a marsupialization as a permanent solution after several in-office lancings, catheters, etc. 3 months later, I developed another cyst and discovered that antibiotics made it drain on its own and it was gone. Got another one 3 months after that, 6 months post-op. Same treatment at home - antibiotics made it drain. 4 months after this, 10 months post-op, I got my third since my surgery. Antibiotics didn't take, so I made an appointment after about a week and they happened to have a cancellation the next day for surgery and my OB/GYN suggested I go through with the excision surgery I have been dreading because of these horror stories I have read (and cried) about for months.
I had my excision 6 days ago and am feeling okay. Waking up after the surgery was terrible and I was in excruciating pain for a few hours, but I was told no morphine/pain medicine was used during the surgery, so it was warranted. I took pain medication for the first 12 hours in conjunction with 500mg ibuprofen every 6 six hours, and it mostly just uncomfortable. I did not sleep for more than 3-4 hours at a time, and slept with a pillow in between my legs for comfort, but I was able to keep up with my medicine. I used an ice pack on and off for 20 mins at a time for the first 36 hours to help with swelling.
Now 6 days out, I am somewhat pain-free. And mind you, I have like, ZERO tolerance for pain. I'm the biggest baby. There was some bleeding right after the surgery, but it turned to just some discharge by the next morning, and I have had a tiny bit over the last day or so. Here and there I get a pang of slight pain or a pinching feeling that hurts, but it goes away. I am a bartender so I have to be off of work for 10-14 days and have been resting as much as I possibly can. It is mostly just uncomfortable and I can't stand for too long of a time before needing to sit/lay again. This experience is straining on my relationship (he was here for my marsupialization in the very beginning), but we both agreed that this was the right thing for me to do. I know that I can't live my life afraid of this happening forever and always wondering when it's going to come back, so I went through with the surgery. I have a check up appointment with my OB/GYN who also performed the surgery this week, a little after a week post-op. I am still taking my ibuprofen every 6 hours to manage soreness/discomfort and I have been on a week of antibiotics to prevent infection.
I decided to look today after the swelling and possible bruising has gone down and was definitely surprised at the amount and placement of the stitches. My doctor said they were inside the vagina rather than outside like my marsupialization (which was terrible because I had them for 8 weeks and they hurt like hell), but they run all the way from the gland and up to the top on the right side in the inner labia. It's not pretty but I'll take a little ugliness over pain and fear for the rest of my life.
All in all, I'd say this is going to be worth it so far. Happy to post updates if it helps someone else reading comments on the internet until they're crying themselves to sleep out of fear like I did. I would have loved to see A) real information that is actually helpful and B) positive experiences that made all my anxiety and tears worth it.
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