Mastitis is an infection of the breast caused by Staphylococcus aureus. It is associated with a break in the skin or nipple with invasion of the skin bacteria. Most commonly pregnant women whom are breast feeding develop mastitis. The symptoms include painful breast, swollen unilateral breast, redness, fever, discharge from the nipple, and enlarged lymph nodes. An abscess is the most common complication of untreated mastitis leading to deep tissue collection of pus. Treatment early on should be aggressive with moist warm compression and oral antibiotics. An abscess may require surgical drainage and intravenous antibiotics.
A Answers (2)
Stuart Linder, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
Abscess: If mastitis is not properly treated or it is related to a plugged milk duct (called milk stasis), a collection of pus (called an abscess) may develop in the breast tissue. An abscess usually feels like a small, hard lump in the breast. Patients with breast abscesses usually need to have the fluid surgically drained. Some research suggest that as many as 10% of women with mastitis develop abscesses. However, many experts consider this estimate to be very high.
Recurrence: Women who have had mastitis in the past are more likely to experience the condition again in the future.
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