What is the morbidity of breast abscess and masses?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Andrew C Miller, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Associated morbidity may include scarring, disfigurement, lymphedema, and psychologic stress.

Breast abscess

Recurrent or chronic infections, pain, and scarring are causes of morbidity.

Mastitis is usually seen in lactating women, but the presence in a nonlactating woman should spur evaluation for an inflammatory carcinoma, newly onset diabetes, infection withMycobacterium tuberculosis, and other idiopathic causes. [3, 12]

Abscess formation complicates postpartum mastitis in fewer than 10% of cases.

Neonatal mastitis usually occurs in term or near-term infants, is twice as common in females, and progresses to development of a breast abscess in approximately 50% of cases. [21, 22, 5]

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