An abscess is a localized collection of pus from tissues that have been broken down by bacteria. Following mastitis, the development of a breast abscess has been reported to have an incidence of 3% (Amir, 2004).
Generally, if a lump does not get softer and remain in size despite efforts in milk expression, it is recommended for the mother to consult a breast surgeon for an ultrasound scan. Needle aspiration is usually recommended for small abscesses of 3cm or less. For larger abscess, a surgical incision is necessary to drain the pus.
It is important to continue milk removal efforts via latching, pumping or hand expressing during treatment. Breast abscess can be painful but with the right support, breastfeeding can be continued after it is resolved.