Mastitis that develops into an infected pocket of
fluid, or breast
abscess, usually needs to be drained.
A small abscess can be drained with a needle,
ultrasound to guide the needle. First, a
local anesthetic medicine is injected to numb the
skin over the infected breast tissue. This procedure can be done in a doctor's
A large abscess must be cut open (lanced) to let the pus
drain out. Usually a local anesthetic medicine is injected
to numb the breast tissue first.
General anesthesia is usually not needed for this
treatment unless the abscess is deep. After the infected area has been drained,
it may be left open and packed with sterile gauze or closed with a small tube
left in so the pus can drain out. This procedure may be done in a doctor's
office or an outpatient surgery setting.
Other Places To Get Help
La Leche League International
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Women's Health
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology