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Breast Abscess

Shannon A. Sanchez Oviedo, MD, MS, Kelley V. Lawrence, MD, IBCLC and Lloyd Runser, MD, MPH Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Localized accumulation of infected fluid within the breast parenchyma

  • Can be associated with lactation or fistulous tracts secondary to squamous epithelial neoplasm or duct occlusion

  • S...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Tender breast lump, usually unilateral

  • Breastfeeding, weaning, returning to work

  • Perimenopausal/postmenopausal

  • Systemic malaise (usually less than with mastitis)

  • Localized erythema, edema...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Cold and/or warm compresses for pain control

  • Continue to breastfeed or express milk to drain the affected breast.

  • Antibiotic treatment without puerperal abscess drainage is ine...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

Ensure complete resolution to exclude carcinoma. 

PATIENT EDUCATION

  • Wound care, rest, breast milk emptying

  • Continue with breastfeeding or pumping (...

REFERENCES

1
1 Lam E, Chan T, Wiseman SM. Breast abscess: evidence based management recommendations. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther.  2014;12(7)753–762. {L-End} {L-End} [View Abstract on OvidMedli...

ADDITIONAL READING

Chandika AB, Gakwaya AM, Kiguli-Malwadde E, et al. Ultrasound guided needle aspiration versus surgical drainage in the management of breast abscesses: a Ugandan experience. BMC Res ...

CODES

ICD10

  • N61 Inflammatory disorders of breast

  • O91.13 Abscess of breast associated with lactation

  • O91.12 Abscess of breast associated with the puerperium

  • O91.119 Abscess of breast associated with pregna...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • 0.4–11% of cases of puerperal mastitis go on to abscess (most often due to inadequate therapy for mastitis).

  • Risk factors for mastitis result from milk stasis (poor milk transfer, infre...

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