Breast Abscess

Breast abscess or breast abscess is a lump in the breast that is filled with pus. Breast abscess is usually caused by an infection. This disease is often experienced by breastfeeding mothers.

If you have breast abscess, breastfeeding mothers should be treated immediately. But do not worry, breast abscess sufferers can still breastfeed their children with uninfected breasts.

Causes of Breast Abscess

Inflammation of the breast tissue (mastitis) which is not treated immediately or is caused by a blockage in the breast gland, is a major cause of the accumulation of pus (abscess) in the breast.

Breast infections can occur for a number of reasons. One of them is the entry of bacteria from the baby's mouth into the milk ducts through cracks in the nipple. Although more common in breastfeeding mothers, non-breastfeeding women and a small number of men can also develop breast abscesses.

There are several factors that increase a person's risk of breast abscess, including:

  • Has a nipple piercing
  • Have a smoking habit
  • Having diabetes
  • Suffering from HIV / AIDS
  • Has undergone breast surgery in the last 2 months
  • Ever had a breast infection
  • Senior citizen

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Abscess

The breast abscess is shaped like a lump under the skin, which when touched feels soft and can be moved. However, this lump cannot be felt if the abscess grows deeper in the breast. Breast abscesses also usually appear along with boils on the breast.

The symptoms experienced by people with breast abscess can vary depending on the severity. If you have a breast abscess, a person may experience symptoms such as:

  • Breasts look red, swollen, and felt
  • When touched, there are lumps that do not disappear after breastfeeding.
  • Pussy comes out of the nipple.
  • Breast pain continues to interfere with activity.
  • Breast pain prevents a mother from breastfeeding her child.
  • Fever for more than 3 days and does not improve even after treatment.

When to see a doctor

Breast abscesses form due to untreated mastitis. Therefore, breastfeeding mothers should be vigilant and immediately see a doctor if they feel lumps in the breast, breast pain, swelling, and redness.

A woman is also advised to do a breast self-examination (BSE) every 7 days after menstruation. This is to find out the abnormalities in the breast in advance.

Regular breast examinations should also be done clinically by a doctor. This examination is called SADANIS. A woman is recommended to do SADANIS regularly starting at the age of 20, every 1-3 years. After the age of 40, SADANIS should be done periodically at least once a year.

BSE and SADANIS are performed as a form of anticipation and early screening of breast disease, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer.

Breast Abscess Diagnosis

To diagnose breast abscess, the doctor will perform a physical examination of the patient's breast. Then the doctor will ask the patient to undergo a breast ultrasound (breast ultrasound).

Ultrasound is used to examine the depth and location of infection in the breast, and to determine if the lump is mastitis, breast abscess, or tumor.

The doctor will also take a sample of breast milk or pus from the abscess using an injection, for examination in the laboratory. From this examination, the doctor can determine the cause of the infection and determine the exact type of treatment.

In addition to ultrasound, imaging can also be done with mammograms and breast biopsies. This can only be done if the sufferer of mastitis is a non-breastfeeding woman. This test is done to ensure that the symptoms experienced by the sufferer are not symptoms of cancer.

How to Treat Breast Abscess

To treat breast abscesses in breastfeeding mothers, doctors will prescribe antibiotics, such as cephalexin. Breastfeeding mothers can continue to breastfeed their children despite using the medicine. Cephalexin is taken for 10-14 days at a dose of 500 mg, every 6 hours.

Breast abscess can also occur in women who do not breastfeed. To overcome this, the doctor may prescribe one of the following medications:

  • Clindamycin 300 mg, taken every 6 hours.
  • Amoxicillin / clavulanate 500 mg, orally 3 times a day.

In addition to treatment with antibiotics, there are other procedures that can be done to treat breast abscess, namely:

  • Remove the pus with a syringe.
  • Drain the pus out with the help of a catheter.
  • Overcome breast abscess with a special procedure called vacuum-assisted biopsy.

Meanwhile, pain due to breast abscess is usually relieved by taking paracetamol and compressing the breast with a towel soaked in warm water or ice water.

In curing breast abscess, breastfed patients should continue to remove milk every 2 hours from the affected breast. This is done to prevent further infection. However, the child should not breastfeed from the affected breast because of the risk of infection.

In addition, people with breast abscess also need to rest adequately, eat nutritious food, drink more water, and manage stress well. These things are done to speed up the healing of breast abscesses.

Complications of Breast Abscess

There are several complications that can occur as a result of breast abscess, including:

  • Recurrent breast infections.
  • Appearance of scars or scar tissue.
  • Breast size decreases until it looks unbalanced.
  • Prolonged (chronic) breast abscess.
  • Spread of infection to other areas of the body.
  • The appearance of abnormal ducts in the breast.
  • Lymphatic tract disorders that cause swelling of the arms (lymphedema)

Breast Abscess Prevention

Mastitis is one of the causes of breast abscess. There are several things breastfeeding mothers can do to prevent mastitis, including:

  • Always wash your hands before breastfeeding, to avoid the possibility of spreading bacteria.
  • Place the child in the correct position, and make sure the nipple and the surrounding brown area (areola) are perfectly attached to the child's mouth.
  • Breastfeed alternately with both breasts and do not use the same breastfeeding position continuously.
  • Breastfeed regularly. Avoid long breaks between breastfeeding.
  • Wear appropriate bras and do not wear tight clothing.
  • Do not use topical creams and medications on nipples.
  • Do not use nipple wraps for long periods of time.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Also, do BSE and SADANIS regularly to detect any abnormalities in your breasts earlier.

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