Breast Abscess

Breast Abscesses are mostly caused by a bacterial infection. A breast abscess is treated by draining them and small abscesses are usually drained using a needle and syringe.

What is a Breast Abscess?

Abscesses are mostly caused by a bacterial infection. In lactating women, there are chances that the bacteria would enter the breast through fine and small cracks in the skin of the nipple. These cracks might develop during breastfeeding.

Causes of Breast Abscess

The breast abscesses are usually the result of unguided breastfeeding. Breast-feeding helps clear the infection and you should not wean your baby abruptly as this might worsen your abscesses.

Breast abscesses in non-lactating women are caused due to:

  • Nipple piercing
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes

Breast Feeding and Breast Abscess

The doctor might recommend a lactation specialist who would ask to make the following changes in breastfeeding patterns.

  • Prolonged overfilling of your breast with milk should be avoided before breast-feeding.
  • Making sure that the infant latches right while feeding. Also, a small amount of milk can be expressed by hand before breast-feeding.
  • While breastfeeding or pumping massage the breast from the affected area down toward the nipple.
  • Ensure your breast is drained completely while breastfeeding. 
  • Changing your breastfeeding positions.

The Complications of a Breast Abscess

  • In the case of repeat infection or chronic abscesses, the affected glands will be removed by the doctor.
  • It could also lead to nipple inversion, in which case the nipple has to be reconstructed during the surgery.
  • If the infection persists even after a course or two of antibiotics, or the infection repeats, you may need surgery. The chronic abscess and any affected glands will be removed during surgery. If there is a nipple inversion it can be reconstructed during surgery.

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