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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Simple Guide to Mastitis

A Simple Guide to Mastitis

What is Mastitis?

Mastitis is inflammation or infection of the breasts, resulting in pain and swelling.

What causes Mastitis?

The causes of Mastitis are mostly due:


1.In babies whether male or female, the painless swelling of the breast may occur due to the effects of the mother's female hormones.The swelling usually subsides after a few weeks.

2.At Puberty for girls the development of breasts may cause some pain and swelling. It may occur first on one side and then subsequently on the side.
The nipples may be red and tender andthis may cause worry for the adlolescent girl and her mother.

3.Premenstrual pain and swelling of breasts may occur


Infections of the breasts may occur due to
1.poor skin hygiene

2.Injuries or wounds allowing microganism to enter the wound

3.Breastfeeding as a result of the baby sucking the nipple incorrectly or as a result of blockage of the milk ducts. In either case bacteria can enter through the injured nipple or the inflammation of the blocked milk ducts may cause suppuration and abscess formation.

4.Mastitis may occur as a rare complication of mumps.

5.Most common bacteria infection is staphyloccus aures.

6.Other rare causes of mastitis are tuberculosis, syphlis or actinomycosis

What are the symptoms of Mastitis?

The Symptoms of Mastitis are:

1.Pain usually present in all cases except in babies

2.swelling of the breasts or the nipple area

3.Pus discharge from the nipple


1.redness of the nipple or areola, warm swelling of the breast tissue may indicate presence of formation of abscess.

3.Local tenderness of inflammed area

4.Fever and genral malaise

5.Axillary lymph nodes may be swollen and painful

What are the complications of Mastitis?

1.Abscess formation

2.Cystic formation

3.Chronic mastitis or fibroadenosis

How is diagnosis of Mastitis confirmed?

1. clinical features

2. Mammograms to exclude malignant tumors

3. Ultrasound scan of the breasts

What is the treatment of Mastitis?

1. antibiotics are given to cure the infections.
The antibiotics may need to be taken for 10 days by mouth.
They must not be stopped just because the discomfort stops, or the infection will NOT be cured.

2. Painkillers may be given if there is pain

3.Rest and support of the breasts with soft bras

4.Warm water bottle to apply to areas of inflmmation due to blocked milk to soften the milk and induce flow.

5. surgery with drainage of abscess if antibiotic do not work.
Aspiration of cysts may also be nessary

6.Reassurance in hormonal cases of mastitis

What is the Prognosis of Mastitis?

Most cases of mastitis usually will recover with proper treatment.

What are the Preventive measures for Mastitis?

Practice good personal and skin hygiene
Wash hands frequently
Clean the beasts properly before and after breastfeeding
Patients should be taught to do breast self examination and to do it frequently

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