Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain warning signs Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Breast Abscess Treatment

Treatment for a breast abscess requires an outpatient procedure, called incision and drainage, in order to drain the infected fluid from the abscess. Depending on the severity of the abscess, a person may also require treatment with oral antibiotics. Most breast abscesses resolve completely within 2 to 3 weeks.

Treatment for a breast abscess includes:


Incision and drainage includes:
  • The skin is sterilized using rubbing alcohol or an antibacterial soap.
  • A local anesthetic is injected into the tissues surrounding the abscess.
  • An incision is made with a scalpel.
  • Pus is drained from the abscess.
  • The abscess cavity is flushed clean.
  • In some cases, a rubber drain or a strip of sterile gauze is packed inside the abscess cavity.
  • The gauze or drain placed inside the abscess cavity is usually removed 24-36 hours later.

Breast Abscess Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of a breast abscess.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Breast Abscess Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat breast abscesses:

Continue to Breast Abscess Home Care

Last Updated: May 13, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Breast Abscess References
  1. Khoda J, Lantsberg L, Yegev Y, and Sebbag G: Management of periareolar abscess and mamillary fistula. Surg Gynecol Obstet 1992 Oct; 175(4): 306-8. [1411885]
  2. Meguid MM, Oler A, Numann PJ, Khan S: Pathogenesis-based treatment of recurring subareolar breast abscesses. Surgery 1995 Oct; 118(4): 775-82. [7570336]
  3. Norlock FE. Benign breast pain in women: a practical approach to evaluation and treatment. J Am Med Womens Assoc. 2002 Spring;57(2):85-90. [11991427]
  4. O'Hara RJ, Dexter SP, Fox JN: Conservative management of infective mastitis and breast abscesses after ultrasonographic assessment. Br J Surg 1996 Oct; 83(10): 1413-4. [8944458]
  5. Versluijs-Ossewaarde FN, Roumen RM, Goris RJ. Subareolar breast abscesses: characteristics and results of surgical treatment. Breast J. 2005 May-Jun;11(3):179-82. [15871702]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.