What is a Breast Abscess?
What is a Breast Abscess? Breast Abscess is a lump formed in the breast due to the gathering of pus and pain. Most abscesses appear just below the skin layer.
Breast abscess is commonly experienced by women aged 18 to 50 years, especially by mothers who are in the breastfeeding period. Often breast abscesses can also appear as a complication of mastitis.
Breastfeeding mothers with breast abscesses are advised to continue breastfeeding their babies. Your doctor may recommend the use of a breastmilk pump to remove breast milk from breast exposed to breast abscess.
Symptoms of Breast Abscess
The characteristics of a lump in the case of a breast abscess can be identified from the pattern of the edges are regular and has a smooth texture, and feels solid like a cyst. In addition to the pain, symptoms that also accompany breast abscess are:
- High fever.
- The body feels unhealthy.
- The lump feels hot.
- The skin around the abscess swells.
Causes of Breast Abscess
Usually breast abscess will be associated with mastitis, which is an inflammation of the breast that is commonly found in breastfeeding mothers where it can cause breast swelling and pain. The bacteria that normally cause mastitis are Staphylococcus aureus, which enters the breast through small cuts or nipple cracks. Infection can then occur when bacteria multiply in an uncontrolled manner.
The immune system will send white blood cells to the infected part of the body to attack the bacteria. This white blood cell attack also causes the body tissue in the infected part of the bacteria to die, so that emerged small hollow sac. The pitch that appears is a mixture of dead body tissue, white blood cells, and bacteria. If the infection persists, the lump of the abscess may become larger and more painful.
There are two types of breast abscesses:
- Breastfeeding abscess (lactation). Formed on the edge of the breast, usually at the top.
- Non-lactating abscess (non-lactation). Usually will appear around the areola (darker parts around the nipple) or the bottom of the breast
Some factors that can increase the risk of women affected by breast abscess are smoking, have been exposed to mastitis, diabetes, infected with the HIV virus, do piercing on the nipple, or are undergoing treatment that suppress the immune system.
Diagnosis of Breast Abscess
To diagnose a patient who is suspected of having a breast abscess, the first step that most doctors do is perform a physical exam on the lump. If the results of physical examination still can not confirm the diagnosis, it can be examined with ultrasound.
Ultrasound is the examination by using high frequency sound waves. From the results of ultrasound examination, can be ascertained whether the lump is examined a breast abscess or not, and also obtained information about the number of pus bags in the bump. In addition to ultrasound, doctors can also perform a mammography examination, the X-ray of the breast. But this examination is not too comfortable and cause pain, especially if the breast is in a state of abscess.
Treatment of Breast Abscesse
Most cases of breast abscesses are triggered by mastitis, which is inflammation of the breast. To treat mastitis, most doctors will prescribe antibiotics.
If the inflammation has become an abscess, in addition to antibiotic treatment, the pus will also be excreted by inserting a syringe on a lump guided by an ultrasound, or by making an incision to remove pus from the abscess (incision and drainage).