Sometimes, severe mastitis does not settle with the above-mentioned means and the patient may develop collections of pus in the breast, known as breast abscesses. The patient presents with swelling, redness, pain, and fever. The swelling may be localized or may be spread over a large part of the breast. It may at times be bilateral. The patient may need a sonography to localize the exact site of the abscesses and to have a look at the other breast tissue to see whether it is showing any signs of mastitis and impending abscess formation.
If the abscess is greatly localized and fully liquefied inside and if the patient does not show any signs of spread of sepsis in the body, conservative treatment in the form of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, local fomentations may be tried along with aspiration of the abscess under sonography guidance.
This aspiration may have to be repeated multiple times. In intractable cases, the doctor may prefer to do a surgical procedure called Incision and Drainage of the abscess to release the pus. A wound remains which heals with regular dressings. The wound takes a reasonable period of time to heal completely which depends upon the extent of the initial incision following the surgery. The patient should continue to breastfeed during the entire treatment, at least from the contralateral normal breast.