Best Breast Abscess Surgery Treatment & Diagnostics in Sadashiv Peth, Pune
A pus-filled lump that forms under the skin of breasts due to any infection is known as a breast abscess. It is often seen in women who are breastfeeding; however, abscesses can develop in men as well as women who are not lactating. Breast abscesses are often painful and a breast abscess surgery may be required. Breast abscesses can also be caused due to a breast infection known as mastitis.
There are different causes behind why breast abscesses are formed in lactating women and all other men and women. In lactating women, the infection is caused due to two main bacteria –
- Streptococcal bacteria, and
- Staphylococcus bacteria
In other cases, where the person who has abscesses is not lactating, the infection may be caused due to the presence of Streptococcal bacteria, S. aureus bacteria, as well as, bacteria that are found in places where there is a lack of oxygen. These bacteria can enter the breast tissue through open skin. Some of the common reasons for the development of an infection in the breast can be related to –
- Breast implants: If you have got breast implants recently, you might develop an infection in the breast tissue.
- Nipple piercings can be a cause for infection
- Bacteria can enter the breast tissue through the cracks in the nipples
- Clogging of a milk duct can also cause bacteria to proliferate and lead to breast infection
- Tight and unclean bras can cause infection in lactating women
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Smoking and consumption of tobacco.
- Being overweight and obese
One of the most common symptoms of breast abscesses is the presence of a lump on the breast. Lumps can also be a symptom of breast cancer. If you see a lump, you consult your doctor at the earliest. You may also notice other symptoms of an infection in the breast such as –
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Nipple discharge
- Flu-like symptoms
- Low milk production in breastfeeding women
- Pain in breast and around the nipple and areola
- Inflammation, rashes, and redness
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The first step of diagnosis of a breast abscess is a physical breast examination wherein your doctor may ask you about your symptoms and look at any lumps that you may have noticed. If your doctor determines, that the lumps can be pus-filled, they may even take a sample of the pus and send it for testing. This will help them determine the cause behind the infection and provide the best possible treatment.
Some screening tests like an ultrasound may also be done to have a better look at what the pus-filled sacs look like and what their exact position under the breast is. If this is a recurring issue, then your doctor may also order an MRI scan to look for the reason behind recurrence.
The treatment for breast abscesses may start with antibiotics if the infection is in its beginning stages. If the size of an abscess is big or if there are too many abscesses, your doctor may perform a breast abscess surgery to drain the pus out of your breast and allowing the infection to heal. While performing this surgery, your doctor will use local anesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain.
If the issue of breast abscesses is recurring, surgery to remove the chronic abscess, as well as, any affected tissue and glands will be removed. Severe infection would also require surgery to remove the pus and infected areas.
Drainage of a breast abscess is done through the procedure known as incision and drainage. This procedure will include the insertion of a thin needle into the affected area. Through this needle, the pus will be drained out. The surgical method of pus and abscess removal will include a small incision on or near the lump. The pus will be removed through this incision and then the incision will be stitched.
Breast abscesses feel like a lump under the skin; however, it is not just a lump. The tissue of the breast starts to decay when there is an infection. This destroyed tissue then forms a sac underneath the skin which starts to fill up with pus. If left untreated, more tissue may be destroyed and the pus-filled lump may continue to grow.
Depending upon the severity of the problem, the recovery time for a breast abscess surgery can be anywhere between 3 weeks to 6 weeks.
If the breast abscesses are drained and not surgically removed, they can return due to infection in the breast tissue. If the abscesses are recurring, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the pus and the infected tissue. An abscess removal surgery would minimize the chances of the abscesses returning.
Yes, it is safe for breastfeeding mothers to continue doing so. Regular breastfeeding can also help prevent the formation of more lumps as the milk will continue to leave the milk ducts regularly.