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What is an abscess?

An abscess is a collection of pus/necrotic material in any part of the body.

How does breast Abscess develop?

Usually, the most common reason for breast abscess are

  • Blocked breast milk ducts.
  • Entry of bacteria into the ducts from a nipple.

 

How do I know I have An Abscess?

You may have any of the following

  • Breast redness, lump, pain, discharge from nipple
  • Fever with chills, malaise

How is the diagnosis of abscess made?

  • Physical Examination by the doctor.
  • The ultrasound scan of the breast.

 

Who is more prone to develop breast abscess?

Breastfeeding mothers are more affected by this condition ‘coz

  • Breastfeeding during the early post-delivery period.
  • Nourishing baby in an unsteady pace.
  • Tight bra can put pressure on milk ducts.
  • Skipping breastfeeding sessions.
  • Stress and exhaustion in new mothers.
  • Weaning the baby from breastfeeding too quickly.

 

What are my treatment options?

The Only options available are

  1. Surgery- Incision and Drainage.
  2. Needle Aspiration ( rarely works)

 

Why do I need surgery? Who will do it?

The pus which is collecting inside the breast requires to be taken out.

No antibiotic will act on it. It will keep on increasing in size.

A Surgeon will be dealing with this.

 

What Surgery will be done?

An Incision will be given on the most prominent part of the abscess under anesthesia.

All the pus and necrotic material will be removed.

The wound will be left open for regular dressing.

 

Why the daily dressing?

  • For better healing of the wound.
  • Daily inspection for any signs of worsening.
  • Pus Drainage.

 

How much time will it take to heal?

It Usually depends upon,

  • The size of the abscess.
  • The lactating breast.
  • Any co-morbid conditions, eg. Diabetes
  • Regular dressings.

It can take upto weeks for the wound to heal.

 

Can I breast feed after surgery?

Guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

You should continue to breastfeed from both breasts.

This is because studies have shown that even with an infection it is safe for the baby to continue breastfeeding from the affected breast

Emptying the breast is important in treating the condition.

 

Can I prevent it from happening?

  • Breastfeed often or express milk with a pump.
  • Prevent irritation or cracking of the nipples.
  • Avoid the consumption of tobacco, and quit smoking.
  • Lose weight.
  • Clean the skin on the breast and nipple with extra care.

 

Any precautions I need to take after the surgery?

You need to get regular dressings done.

Eat healthy food.

Empty the breast of the milk by feeding or breast pump.

Breast Support with a bra.

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