What is a breast abscess?

Localized Infection. A breast abscess is a localized collection of pus in the breast tissue. Breast abscesses develop as a result of infection of the breast tissue which can occur due to several causes. Treatment involves incision and drainage of the breast abscess.
Infection. A breast abscess is an infection of the breast. It can be an infection of the milk glands, hair follicles, sweat gland, secondary to trauma to the breast... It can be treated with antibiotics alone if the abscess is small or surgical drainage, antibiotics, and local wound care of larger.
Infection of breast. Localized infection of breast most common with breast feeding.
Breast Infection . Common features of breast abscesses include swelling and redness of the breast associated with a new, tender, progressively-enlarging lump. While more common with lactation, abscesses can develop at any time in a woman's life. Traditional rx often involved surgery, however current techniques favor (repeated) aspiration and antibiotics.

Related Questions

What exactly is breast abscesses?

Pus pocket. A breast abscess refers to an infection on the soft tissue of the breast , leading to a pus-filled pocket that can be separated into smaller compartments (a loculated breast abscess). If large or painful enough ( due to pus under pressure), the abscess must be drained since antibiotics alone typically is not enough to cure you from the infection. Read more...

What causes breast abscesses?

Unknown. More common in cigarette smokers, otherwise unknown. Some women get multiple infections requiring surgical excision of some of the affected breast tissue. Read more...
Skin Bacteria. Breast abscesses usually arise from normal skin bacteria traveling thru the nipple ducts & multiplying under the skin. This is most common in women who are breast feeding due to nipple trauma. When it occurs unrelated to lactation, we need to include breast cancer as a possible cause & do the appropriate tests. Read more...

What are the tests for breast abscess?

Aspiration. The best way to diagnose a breast abscess is by physical examination supplemented by ultrasound. If a fluid-filled lump is present in the right setting for an abscess (redness, tenderness, swelling, etc), a needle can be inserted under local anesthesia with ultrasound guidance: drawing pus out is diagnostic (and, combined with antibiotics, may be all that's needed for rx). Read more...
Your doctor. Your doctor will determine whether you have abscess or not. Read more...

What are the symptoms of breast abscess?

Red, painful lump. Breast abscesses usually cause a red, swollen, tender lump. Associated symptoms may include fever, malaise, and lethargy. While more common when breastfeeding, they can occur at any age. The cornerstone of therapy includes antibiotics and drainage, which may be done via needle aspiration or surgical "i and d", depending on the severity of the infection. Read more...
Pain & redness. An abscess typically has pain and redness of the skin. In some, there may be a buldge, fevers and chills. It is important to seek care from a breast specialist. Incision and drainage is usually the treatment along with antibiotics. If you think you have a problem, seek care from your physician immediately. Read more...

What breast abscess is drained?

All. Undrained pus will allow the abcess to get bigger, more painful, and take longer to heal. See your surgeon. Read more...

What symptoms typically go along with breast abscess?

Pain and swelling. A breast abscess will usually cause significant pain, fever, erythema, swelling, induration, and a mass in the affected breast. Treatment is surgical drainage and antibiotics. Read more...
Fever, pain, & drain. A breast abscess is best treated with incision & drainage. Antibiotics are usually given and packing of some kind with dressing changes are started. If not treated - fevers, chills, redness, swelling, & pain are the usual symptoms until drainage occurs; if no drainage, you can get septic, end up admitted to the hospital or worse-case scenario - in the icu. Don't wait, get checked. Read more...
Red, painful lump. Breast abscesses usually cause a red, swollen, tender lump. Associated symptoms may include fever, malaise, and lethargy. While more common when breastfeeding, they can occur at any age. The cornerstone of therapy includes antibiotics and drainage, which may be done via needle aspiration or surgical "i and d", depending on the severity of the infection. Read more...

What are the consequences of developing breast abscess?

Scarring, maybe. Usually abscesses can be drained and treated with antibiotics. If successfully they may leave some minimal scarring, but this will depend upon the size and location of the abscess. Read more...
Blood infection. Sepsis or systemic blood infection can occur readily in breast abscesses due to the proximity to major blood vessels and the thoracic duct in the chest. If treated, there can also be cosmetic scarring and breast deformity. Breast infections/abscesses are more common in breast feeding new mothers who delay treatment of "mastitis". Read more...

What should be done for a breast abscess 1 year post nursing?

Treatment. Treatment of a breast abscess would be antibiotics and surgical drainage if there is a fluid collection causing the infection. Read more...
Breast surgeon. Breast abscesses can be painful and recurrent. They can be related to breast feeding but could be from a new problem eg mammary duct fistula . Please get a referral to a breast surgeon to have the problem evaluated and treated. Read more...