Hawasli & Associates
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For Appointments586-774-8811

For Appointments586-774-8811

Bariatric Program586-771-7220

Bariatric Program586-771-7220

  • Abdelkader Hawasli, MD.

    Dr. Hawasli is board certified in general surgery since 1986. He is the director of Laparoscopic Surgery and the Minimally Invasive Surgery...

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    Abdelkader Hawasli, MD.
  • Ahmed Meguid, MD

    Dr. Meguid is board certified by the American Board of Surgery. He has done advanced training in Laparoscopic, robotic and minimally invasive surgery...

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    Ahmed Meguid, MD
  • John E. Boccaccio, MD

    John E. Boccaccio, M.D. is Board Certified with the ABMS Board of Surgery. Dr. Boccaccio graduated from Wayne State University and performed

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    John E. Boccaccio, MD
  • Donn Schroder, MD

    Dr. Donn Schroder is board certified in general surgery. He has practiced surgery for over 20 years and is experienced in the latest techniques.

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    Donn Schroder, MD

Breast Infection- Mastitis

Alternative names

Mastitis; Infection - breast tissue; Breast abscess

Definition

This infection is located in the tissue of the breast. In most cases, bacteria entered the tissue through cracks in the nipples.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Breast infections are usually caused by a common bacteria found on normal skin (Staphylococcus aureus). The bacteria enter through a break or crack in the skin, usually the nipple.

The infection then takes place in the parenchymal (fatty) tissue and causes swelling of the parenchymal tissue outside the milk ducts. This swelling compresses on the milk ducts, and the result is pain and swelling of the infected breast.

Breast infections usually occur in women who are breast-feeding. Breast infections that are not related to breast-feeding must be differentiated from a rare form of breast cancer.

Symptoms

  • Breast pain
  • Breast lump
  • Breast enlargement on one side only
  • Swelling, tenderness, redness, and heat in breast tissue
  • Nipple discharge (may contain pus)
  • Nipple sensation changes
  • Itching
  • Tender and/or enlarged lymph nodes in armpit on the same side
  • Fever

Signs and Tests

In women who are not breast-feeding, testing may include mammography or breast biopsy. Otherwise, tests are usually not necessary.

Treatment

Self-care may include applying moist heat to the infected breast tissue for 15 to 20 minutes four times a day.

Antibiotic medications are usually very effective in treating mastitis. You are encouraged to continue to breast-feed or to pump to alleviate engorgement while receiving treatment.

Support Groups

The stress of an illness can often be helped by joining a support group in which members
share common experiences and problems. See breast-feeding - support group.

Expectations (prognosis)

The condition usually clears quickly with antibiotic therapy.

Complications

In severe infections, an abscess may develop. Abscesses require more extensive treatment, including incision and drainage. Discontinuation of breast-feeding may be recommended in this case.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if any portion of the breast tissue becomes reddened, tender, swollen, or hot, or if the lymph nodes in the armpit become tender and/or enlarged.

Prevention

Good breast care, especially after delivery and while breast-feeding, may decrease the potential to develop breast infections.