Breast Abscess: Causes & Treatment
A breast abscess is a build-up of puss beneath the skin of the breast. It can be painful and unlikely to require surgery, however may need repeated aspirations. Breast abscesses are more common in younger women, although they can develop at any age. Aside from surgery, antibiotics are usually prescribed to ease the pain.
Suffolk Breast Practice provides you with relevant and impartial information to help inform you about breast abscess causes and treatment, and how surgery can help you.
What causes a Breast Abscess?
A breast abscess is often caused by bacterial infection. It appears as a swollen lump under the skin and can cause localised pain or discomfort. The area may be red and warm, and you may also feel unwell or develop a fever, in which case you should consult a medical professional.
Breast abscesses are commonly associated with inflammation of the breast (mastitis). This is often the case with breastfeeding women; bacteria can enter the breast, causing inflammation and infection. In non-breastfeeding women, breast abscesses can develop from cracks in the nipple due to piercings or other breast trauma, although these are far less common causes.
Visit our page on mastitis to learn more about breast infections and their causes.
Treatment for Breast Abscess
Depending on the size and severity of the breast abscess, treatment involves draining the abscess with the use of a needle or a small incision in the skin. An ultrasound scan will locate the abscess, from which the liquid or pus is drained. Repeated needle aspiration may be needed to fully drain the abscess.
If surgery is required, a small incision will be made in the skin following the application of local anaesthetic. The liquid is drained, and the wound is covered with dressing. If you are breastfeeding, treatment for the breast abscess may overlap with treatment for mastitis; it is important to treat the underlying cause of the breast abscess first to ensure it does not return. A dressing is usually added to the area to ensure it is kept clean and dry as much as possible.
If you would like to book an appointment for examination, please contact us.
Breast Abscess Procedure
As with any surgical procedure, complications can arise. Scarring around the wound is possible, as is the development of a new infection. You may also experience some pain following the operation, although this should subside in time. You should inform your surgeon of any complications following surgery. Any risks associated with the surgery will be discussed beforehand.
Adhere to your surgeon’s treatment plan. Medication may be prescribed to aid you in your recovery. Breast abscesses usually heal within a few weeks of surgery. We recommend that you refrain from wearing tight clothing and to get sufficient rest. You may also be required to return to your hospital or clinic for a follow-up appointment.
Suffolk Breast Practice is a fully qualified breast clinic in the Suffolk and surrounding areas such as Essex. We offer an empathetic and non-judgemental service that places the needs of our patients first. If you require further advice, or wish to book a consultation, feel free to contact us today.
At Suffolk Breast Practice, we work with you to ensure you make an informed decision on how to proceed. Your breast treatment care plan is our priority.