JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Breast abscess: evidence based management recommendations

Elaine Lam, Tiffany Chan, Sam M Wiseman
Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 2014, 12 (7): 753-62
24791941
Literature review was carried out and studies reporting on treatment of breast abscesses were critically appraised for quality and their level of evidence using the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy guidelines, and key recommendations were summarized. Needle aspiration either with or without ultrasound guidance should be employed as first line treatment of breast abscesses. This approach has the potential benefits of: superior cosmesis, shorter healing time, and avoidance of general anaesthesia. Multiple aspiration sessions may be required for cure. Ultrasound-guided percutaneous catheter placement may be considered as an alternative approach for treatment of larger abscesses (>3 cm). Surgical incision and drainage should be considered for first line therapy in large (>5 cm), multiloculated, or long standing abscesses, or if percutaneous drainage is unsuccessful. All patients should be treated concurrently with antibiotics. Patients with recurrent subareolar abscesses and fistulas should be referred for consideration of surgical treatment.

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