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Breast Abscess Drainage

WHAT IS BREAST ABSCESS DRAINAGE?

Opening and removing the pus from an abscess in the female breast.

REASONS FOR SURGERY

Relief of pain and prevention of the spread of infection.

WHO OPERATES

General surgeon or obstetrician-gynecologist.

PERFORMED WHERE

Mostly on outdoor basis but if large may involve hospitalization.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

ANESTHESIA

DESCRIPTION OF OPERATION

  • An incision is made in the breast extending outward from the nipple. The incision is generally on dependent part s to facilitate drainage.
  • An instrument is forced into the abscess. Pockets of pus are broken up by the surgeon's finger. The opening is enlarged and the area is irrigated with a salt solution. Gauze packing is inserted to allow drainage.
  • The skin edges are brought together loosely around the drain.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Surgical-wound infection.
  • Slow healing.
  • Breast engorgement, if breast is not emptied regularly of milk.
  • Recurrence.

AVERAGE HOSPITAL STAY

0 to 2 days.

PROBABLE OUTCOME

Expect complete recovery without complications. Nursing can usually be resumed on the affected side in about 2 weeks. Allow about 3 weeks for complete recovery from surgery.

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • A hard ridge should form along the incision. As it heals, the ridge will recede gradually.
  • Bathe and shower as usual. After removal of the drain, you may wash the incision gently with mild unscented soap.
  • Change dressings daily after bathing.
  • If you continue nursing, use a breast pump on the abscessed side to prevent engorgement. Continue to nurse from the unaffected breast. The infant is unlikely to become infected.

MEDICATION

  • Your doctor may prescribe:
    • Pain relievers. Don't take prescription pain medication longer than 4 to 7 days. Use ONLY as much as you need.
    • Antibiotics to fight infection.
  • You may use non-prescription drugs, such as paracetamol, for minor pain.

ACTIVITY

  • Return to work and normal activity as soon as possible. This reduces postoperative depression and irritability.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise for 3 weeks after surgery.

DIET

Clear liquid diet until the gastrointestinal tract functions again. Then eat a well-balanced, high-protein diet to promote healing. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.

VISIT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF

  • Nausea or vomiting occur
  • Increased pain, swelling, redness, drainage or bleeding increases in the surgical area.
  • Signs of infection: headache, muscle aches, dizziness or a general ill feeling and fever.
  • New, unexplained symptoms. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.
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