Treating a breast abscess

You should visit your GP if your breast is red and painful.

A breast abscess is usually a complication of Mastitis (inflammation of the breast).

If you have mastitis,you may be prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection.Go backto seeyour GP if your symptoms don't improve after taking antibiotics.

Ifyour breast is still hard, red and painfulafter taking antibiotics,your GP may refer you to a specialist breast unit for further investigations.

A breast abscess diagnosis will usually be confirmedusing an ultrasound scan . This type of scanuses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the inside of your body.

Draining a breast abscess

Most abscesses can be successfully treated with antibiotics and needle drainage under local anaesthetic .

Alocal anaesthetic may be used to numb the area of skin surrounding the infected breast tissue.

Small abscesses can be drained using a needle and syringe. Ultrasound may beused to guide the needle into place.

In the past, an operation was often used to drain larger abscesses. However, as with smaller abscesses, ultrasound guided drainage is nowcommonlyused.

Diagnosing breast problems

Always visit your GP if you notice any changes to your breasts, such as a breast lump or discharge (leaking fluid) from your nipples. In some cases, these types ofsymptoms could be a sign of breast cancer .

If you have a lump on your breast, you'll be referred to a breast clinic for an assessment, which may include an ultrasound scan and a mammogram (breast X-ray ).

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 20 Jun 2016