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Breast abscess, hardened mass above nipple. What could it be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions
hi m 27 yrs old and i delivered my son on 27th nov 2011.from the day one feeding him had been a problem.initially the milk supply was slow.then the nurses used to express the milk and take out watever little milk came and feed my son.then later my milk supply increased but my left side nipple was inverted and my son was not able to latch on to it so he preferrd the right i used feed him on the right side and pump frm my left side and give him.within a few days my left breast became engorged and soon i got between i had been tryin to breastfed him..but my nipple had a hardened mass on it and my son wasn't able to latch on..i used to hand express daily..then the doc admitted me in the hospital and i was on left breast had a hardened mass all over it and was hot to the touch.the docs told to express out the milk frm it..and i had done it was very painful..then after a week i had breast abscess and then the doc did an incision and placed a drain for a week. there was blood,milk and pus comin in it for a few days..and then after a week the doc removed the drain and said all the puss had gone and only milk was in it..but by then i had decided to stop breastfeeding my son and the same day the drain was removed i took pills prescribed by another doc to stop milk production..and in a few days the milk production had stopped from my right left side the little milk used to drain out from the place they did the incision..nothing from the nipple..but i had a hardened mass on the area above the nipple and on the nipple..and its been more than a week since the drain has been removed but the hardened mass hasn't gone yet...and this is worryin me..what could it be?
Posted Sun, 15 Apr 2012 in Women Sexual Problems
Answered by Dr. Radhika 11 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

You had Left Breast abscess which was treated by incision and drainage. And now after antibiotic treatment you feel there is a hardened lump in the area below and on the nipple.

Most often we find inflammatory changes along with abscess. The abscess along with these inflammatory changes produces the symptoms of pain, swelling, hardness and the pus discharge. It might take some time (for 2-3 weeks) for complete resolution of symptoms following complete drainage and antibiotic usage. However other possible conditions such as incomplete treatment or recurrence of abscess may also be the cause of such mass.

You can apply hot compression 3 to 4 times daily to the area where you feel the lump. Also if you have any pain, you can take anti-inflammatory drugs twice daily for a week. If you feel the lump is increasing in size or there is worsening of symptoms, I recommend you to report back to your treating surgeon for repeat evaluation.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up queries.

Wish you good health

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Breast abscess, hardened mass above nipple. What could it be? 1 hour later
thank u for ur reply..but m not on medication medicines got over last monday, the day the drain was removed..generally they say u shud not keep hot compresess as they mite increase ur milk m little woried to do tat...hav read onlin if u keep cabbage leaves it vil reduce milk production as well as did tat yday...but nite i felt pain in my chest n stopped using it..n even my rite breast i feel my nipple getting hardened at times..its only 2 days since the leakin stopped.i had taken the tabs last monday...and at times ters lumps on my left breast..i think its due to the milk present in it..
Answered by Dr. Radhika 20 hours later

Thanks for the follow up.

Hot compression help to ease the pain by reducing inflammation. It can also help you to express milk outside easily. I am not aware of the efficacy of cabbage leaves in reducing milk secretion though.

If the symptoms are concerning you, then I think you should get yourself examined by your primary surgeon to rule out reblockage and infections.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available for follow up queries.

Wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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