What is a Gartner cyst?The clear majority of all vaginal cysts is completely asymptomatic. Since the Gartner cyst corresponds to a relatively large cyst, it may be palpated by patients under certain circumstances.
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Cysts are fluid-filled cavities that are encapsulated and lined with epithelium. They can occur in virtually all tissues and in various parts of the body. For example, a cyst group is the vaginal cysts that can occur in the vaginal wall. In addition to the inclusion cysts, Gartner's cysts are one of the major subcategories of the vaginal cyst.
Gartner cysts have a relatively large shape and arise from embryonic tissue remnants. Most Gartner cysts are located in the upper two-thirds of the vagina and affect the tissue of the Gartner gangway, whose origin is the embryonic duct mesonephricus or Wolff ganglia. The Gartner cyst affects between one and two percent of all women.
Age plays no role in the development. Presumably, the number of unreported victims is much higher. Because cysts rarely cause discomfort, they are likely to be missed frequently. Gartner cysts without epithelial lining are so-called pseudocysts and therefore can not be described as true Gartner cysts.
The development of a cyst can be related to various causes. As with those in the breast or ovaries, the influence of hormones is also discussed as a causative factor for cysts in the vagina. In the discussion are also runoff disorders and parasites or hereditary connections. So far, it has only been proven that Gartner cysts are formed by fabric attacks of the Gartner gang.
Since this duct corresponds to a relic from the mesonephric duct, disturbances during embryonic development may also play a role in disposition for Gartner cysts. In the female embryonic sexual differentiation, the Urnierengang actually completely and leaves only a small remnants. Gartner's cysts seem to affect women who have preserved an area in the lower portion of the urinary tract.
The definitive causes of the vaginal cyst remain unclear. As with all other cysts, a wide variety of relationships and combined factors are conceivable. Both external and genetic factors can play a role.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
The clear majority of all vaginal cysts is completely asymptomatic. Since the Gartner cyst corresponds to a relatively large cyst, it may be palpated by patients under certain circumstances. The affected persons usually describe the palpation as a plump and elastic vault into the vaginal lumen. All other symptoms depend mainly on the exact size of the Gartner cyst.
If any symptoms persist, most of the complaints are absolutely nonspecific symptoms. For example, a heavily bulging vaginal wall can affect one's sexual life. Some patients describe pain during intercourse. Others are much more likely to be affected by inflammation of the bladder. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that large Gartner cysts may accumulate bacteria depending on their exact location.
These can be pushed into the urinary tract and the bladder and cause inflammation there. In most cases, however, patients do not seek medical attention for complaints that have been caused by the Gartner's cyst. Often they are even disturbed because of the absolute asymptomatic phenomenon of the findings. Only in isolated cases will Gartner cysts burst before they are even noticed. In this case, severe pain and bleeding may occur.
The Gartner cyst is in most cases a gynecological incidental finding. To confirm the suspected diagnosis of a vaginal cyst and to identify the cyst as a Gartner cyst, an MRI is used. Gartner cysts have high signal intensity as part of T2-weighted MRI image sequences, and have either low or medium signal intensity in T1-weighted MRI sequences.
In individual cases, the signal intensity depends on the protein content of the cyst interior. A cyst puncture clarifies the question of the benignness of the discovered anomalies. The fluid from the cyst is added to the laboratory for histological examination. Gartner's cysts are associated with a favorable prognosis and are not prone to degeneration.
In most cases, the Gartner cyst does not cause complications or discomfort. Most of the time it is not perceived because it does not cause pain or other discomfort. If necessary, the patient can feel the Gartner's cyst and have a scan performed. Often, the cyst is therefore diagnosed at an early stage, so that the treatment can take place immediately.
Due to the strong curvature it comes in many cases to pain during sexual intercourse. These can also adversely affect the other partner and lead to mental discomfort. In severe cases it can also lead to inflammation of the bladder, which is painful and in the worst case can lead to insufficiency. Usually, the Gartner cyst is treated before it pops.
Treatment only has to take place if the cyst is malignant and therefore needs to be removed. The distance usually runs without complications. Benign cysts are not removed in most cases and disappear again by themselves. Even in pain surgical procedures are used. Life expectancy is not reduced by the Gartner cyst.
When should you go to the doctor?
As the Gartner cyst is often completely symptom-free for the patient, in most cases it is only diagnosed during a routine examination. It is always advisable to take part in the offered check-ups in order to be able to recognize and treat diseases at an early stage.
In addition, if complaints occur, a doctor should also be consulted outside the annual gynecological examination. In case of general malaise, a diffuse feeling that something is wrong or sexual disorders, a doctor's visit is advisable.
If there is an abnormal discharge from the vagina or if the familiar body odor of the intimate area changes, the observations should be discussed with a doctor. A purulent discharge indicates illnesses that need to be treated. Irregular menstrual bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse or changes in libido require a doctor.
A visit to the doctor is also necessary if irregularities are perceived through separate scans in the vagina or cervix. If inflammatory symptoms of the bladder, general irritability or unusual bleeding occur, seek medical attention.
In case of pain or a feeling of pressure in the abdomen, consultation with a doctor is also required. In rare cases, itching or an inner restlessness. With these instructions, the person affected should present to a doctor if they persist for several weeks.
Treatment & Therapy
A benign and symptomless Gartner cyst does not necessarily require treatment. In many cases, cysts form on their own. For this reason, waiting before an intervention, for example, can make sense. Regular checks should at least take place during this time. If the cyst causes discomfort, it should be removed without further ado.
The removal of a Gartner cyst may be a minimally invasive procedure. For example, puncturing the cyst may drain the containing fluid. The cyst will ideally recover afterwards. If a recurrence occurs and the encapsulation fills with fluid, a small operation will take place. Even with painful Gartner cysts, the operation is considered the drug of choice.
As part of the surgical procedure, the cyst can be completely removed. This is ruled out that she fills with liquid again after some time. If the patient rejects the operation despite a recurrent Gartner's cyst, she should at least take part in regular check-ups. Although the risk of degeneration in the Gartner's cyst is rather low, degeneration can not be completely ruled out.
Outlook & Forecast
The prognosis of a Gartner cyst is favorable overall. Often the benign tissue changes do not cause any impairment and remain unnoticed by the affected person. Random findings lead to a diagnosis that does not always result in treatment. However, as Gartner's cyst may increase in size, there is always the possibility of tightness or disturbance in sexual activity at any time.
Although the growth of the cyst can lead to various complaints, the prognosis in these cases does not change. She remains good. If the doctor and patient decide to remove the cyst, the usual complications can occur. Surgery is generally associated with risks that can also occur with local anesthesia. After a successful removal and wound healing is automatically a complaint-free.
However, during the course of life, a new Gartner cyst may develop. The prognosis remains favorable with a renewed development of the tissue change.
In rare cases, it comes to a malignant disease. The cyst mutates and cancer cells spread throughout the body. This leads to a worsening of the prognosis. The sooner a diagnosis is possible and treatment is initiated, the better the chances of recovery. Without medical care threatens a premature death.
Gartner cysts are believed to occur whenever large parts of the Garnter gang are left behind. The removal of Gartner gang relics may prevent Gartner cysts.
With a Gartner cyst, those affected have only very limited options for follow-up care. The patient is primarily dependent on the treatment and the removal of this cyst in order to prevent further complications. In general, an early diagnosis with early treatment has a positive effect on the course of the disease and can prevent further symptoms.
The sooner the Gartner cyst is detected, the better the general course of the disease. In most cases, the Gartner cyst is removed through surgery. After such an intervention, the person affected should always rest and protect the body.
Hereby efforts or other stressful activities should be foreseen so as not to unnecessarily strain and burden the body. In many cases, additional follow-up examinations are necessary to ensure complete healing of the Gartner cyst. Even regular examinations after a successful procedure may be useful.
If the Gartner cyst has degenerated, the entire body must be screened for the presence of tumors. In most cases, this disease does not reduce the life expectancy of those affected.
You can do that yourself
A benign and symptomless Gartner cyst does not necessarily have to be treated by a doctor. It is usually sufficient for the affected person to ensure adequate intimate hygiene and to ensure that the cyst does not enlarge. However, if symptoms or serious complications occur, talk to the gynecologist.
Accompanying the medical treatment, various measures can then be taken, depending on the symptoms. Cystitis helps with warmth and lots of sleep. Pain can be relieved by medicinal herbs from nature, but also by warm compresses or a hot bath with ethereal additives.
Accompanying this, it must be decided together with the doctor if the cyst should be removed. An operative removal of the cyst is unproblematic and requires no special preparation by the patient. However, it is recommended that you take no stimulants before the procedure and otherwise follow the instructions of the responsible physician.
After the operation, the person should get sick for a few days. Subsequently, bed rest and protection is indicated. In addition, the site of the procedure should be well monitored and examined once a week by a gynecologist, as this is the only way to completely rule out complications.