Dr. Radha IyengarBreast Surgery

Breast abscess while breastfeeding

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A breast abscess is a pus filled pocket of infection that can occur in conjunction with mastitis. 
A breast abscess can occur during lactation when a pocket of milk becomes infected or an area of mastitis remains unnoticed or untreated. 
Signs of a breast abscess include: 
-an area of redness that is not improving with antibiotics
-a painful red lump that is not resolving with nursing
-a firm red area with a central “squishy” area
Typically an abscess will not resolve on its own without some kind of drainage. 
Ideally, a breast abscess during lactation should be drained percutaneously - this means that a needle is inserted into the pocket and pus is withdrawn. 
Percutaneous drainage may need to occur several times over the course of weeks before the abscess completely resolves. 
If the abscess is not amenable to percutaneous drainage than an incision and drainage may need to be performed. 
An incision and drainage means that an incision is placed over the area of abscess and the pass is evacuated. This type of procedure typically requires wound care. 
Sometimes these abscesses can be under so much pressure that they spontaneously drain. 
If that happens, stay calm. If possible get in the shower and allow warm water to run over the area. Then pat the area dry and apply gauze.  call your doctor for any further instructions. 
The earlier you find an abscess the better. So contact your doctor if you think you may be developing one.