For small abscesses, aspiration with a needle and syringe plus antibiotics often is all that is necessary, though it may be necessary to repeat the aspiration more than once.
If you have a lump that is not going away or not getting smaller over more than a couple of weeks, you should be seen by a breastfeeding-friendly physician or surgeon. You don’t have to interrupt or stop breastfeeding to get a breast lump investigated (ultrasound, mammogram and even biopsy do not require you to stop breastfeeding even on the affected side). A breastfeeding friendly surgeon will not tell you that you have to stop breastfeeding before s/he can do tests to investigate a breast lump.
Questions? Get Dr. Jack Newman's book The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers.
Jack Newman graduated from the University of Toronto medical school as a pediatrician in 1970. He started the first hospital-based breastfeeding clinic in Canada in 1984 at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. He has been a consultant with UNICEF for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Africa, and has published articles on the subject of breastfeeding in Scientific American and several medical journals. Dr. Newman has practiced as a physician in Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Blocked Duct and Mastitis, February 2009©
Written & revised (under other names) by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC, 1995-2005©
Revised by Jack Newman MD, FRCPC & Edith Kernerman, IBCLC, 2008, 2009©