Management of Lactational Mastitis and Breast Abscesses: Review of Current Knowledge and Practice

Kataria, Kamal; Srivastava, Anurag; Dhar, Anita
December 2013
Indian Journal of Surgery;Dec2013, Vol. 75 Issue 6, p430
Academic Journal
Most breast abscesses develops as a complication of lactational mastitis. The incidence of breast abscess ranges from 0.4 to 11 % of all lactating mothers. The traditional management of breast abscesses involves incision and drainage of pus along with antistaphylococcal antibiotics, but this is associated with prolonged healing time, regular dressings, difficulty in breast feeding, and the possibility of milk fistula with unsatisfactory cosmetic outcome. It has recently been reported that breast abscesses can be treated by repeated needle aspirations and suction drainage. The predominance of Staphylococcus aureus allows a rational choice of antibiotic without having to wait for the results of bacteriological culture. Many antibiotics are secreted in milk, but penicillin, cephalosporins, and erythromycin, however, are considered safe. Where an abscess has formed, aspiration of the pus, preferably under ultrasound control, has now supplanted open surgery as the first line of treatment.


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