Gartners duct cyst



Gartners duct cyst

Definition

A vaginal cyst is a closed sac on or under the vaginal lining that contains fluid or semisolid material.

Alternative Names

Inclusion cyst; Gartner's duct cyst

Causes

There are several types of vaginal cysts, which can range in size from the size of a pea to that of an orange. Vaginal inclusion cysts are the most common. These may form as a result of trauma sustained by the vaginal walls or following an obstetric or gynecologic procedure, when the lining of the vagina doesn't heal to its normal smoothness.

Gartner's duct cysts develop in the space occupied by the Gartner's duct, usually on the side walls of the vagina. This duct is active during fetal development but ordinarily disappears after birth. In some cases, however, portions of the duct may collect fluid and develop into a vaginal wall cyst later in life.

Benign tumors of the vagina are uncommon and are usually made up of cysts.

Symptoms

Vaginal cysts usually do not cause symptoms, although there may be a soft lump felt in the vaginal wall or protruding from the vagina. Some women with vaginal cysts may have discomfort during sexual intercourse or difficulty inserting tampons.

Exams and Tests

Upon pelvic examination, a mass or bulge of the vaginal wall may be seen or felt by the examiner. A biopsy may be necessary to rule out vaginal cancer

If the cyst is located under the bladder or urethra, X-rays may be required to be sure the cyst does not involve these structures.

Treatment

Routine examinations and observation of the cysts (for growth or other changes) may be the only treatment needed. Surgical excision (removal) may also be elected or possibly required if the cyst is causing symptoms.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome is generally good. Frequently cysts remain small and require no treatment. When surgically removed, the cysts usually do not return.

Possible Complications

There are usually no complications from the cysts themselves. A surgical excision procedure carries a small risk of complications depending on where the cyst is located in relation to other structures.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if a lump is felt inside the vagina or protruding from the vagina.

Stenchever A. Comprehensive Gynecology. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2001:479.

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