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Abscess Sufferers

(163 Posts)
mariasmummy Wed 09-Dec-09 16:06:14


If anyone has experience with an abscess please post me your story. I am 2 weeks post op with a reasonably large wound and I think i am looking at 1-2 months of healing.I cannot breastfeed from the infected breast as hole is so close to nipple and a lot of leaking (either milk or pus or bodily fluids) doctors say don't feed from it, nurses and counselors say do and general asdvice is get the milk out. Most sane people would stop breastfeeding after this but I'm keen to see it through and am feeding baby fine from other breast with occasional top ups. Baby is fine but I wish I had taken care of myself and got to doctors earlier.

All the best,

FrancesW Wed 11-Jan-12 21:29:29

Hi chick0

I'm so sorry it happened to you too. It's really helpful to read your story and it gives me hope I'll be healed by the end of the month (or at least not weeping anymore).

I agree that more information would really help, if nothing else on how to care best for the wound.

Thank you

blushingm Wed 11-Jan-12 21:54:22

I had an abscess when feeding dd - it wasn't lose enough to the surface o rupture but was quite deep - I had to got to see a breast specialist who apsitaed it with a really long needle - with no anaesthetic -it was right on my areola . I had to go back about 6 times for him to repeat it . The first time he removed 2 sample jars full of yellows green bloodstained gunk. My god it hurt! 5 years on I can still feel a dent in my breast. At the time I could harly lift my arm without crying as it hurt o much. I was told the bet thug I could do was to stop anything that stimulated milk production, as I'd been pumping and feeding em. I still feel like I failed dd though sad

FrancesW Fri 13-Jan-12 19:23:19

Blushingm you've got nothing to feel bad about - the fact that you tried to feed through it shows how good a mum you are smile

I was told to stop too but by that stage the nurse in the breast clinic had got the Breastfeeding midwife down from the postnatal ward who when I came out from the consultant who had told me to stop feeding from the affected breast because I would infect my baby, had an argument with the consultant. It turns out he was just worried it would drip in her eye and give her conjunctivitis. Without that support from a professional and the skills of my husband who adapted the flange for the breast pump, I would have been well on the way to not feeding at all.

Kittie83 Fri 20-Jan-12 21:11:50

Hi everybody can't believe that there's even more mums on this site experiencing the same things! I'm so sorry for all of you! I finally stopped wearing dressing 4 weeks ago and the abscess burst 2 weeks before christmas 2010! LO was 13 months old at that stage! The scar isn't very nice but hoping the bio oil will do the trick!

By the way I'm 19 weeks pregnant with second baby! We're expecting a boy this time so it's very exciting!

Now the worries begin again! Earlier today I started feeling these weird cramps in the same side as previous abscess. I also think it's starting to go a little red! And Murphys law it's Friday! I remember reading a post ages ago about somebody that had a reoccurring abscess with second pregnancy before the baby was born! The post is so long now I can't remember who! Please I need some advice and if this is at all possible till I can phone breast clinic on Monday!

Good luck everybody else hope it will all work itself out sooner than mine! Lol!

chick0 Sun 22-Jan-12 15:16:47

Congrats on pregnancy Kittie83! Wow that is a long time wearing a dressing. I think it will take a while for mine to heal although it does not hurt anymore. How are you feeling now? I hope you manage to get an appointment at the breast clinic.

Tamashii Wed 01-Feb-12 15:10:22

I am so glad I found this thread. I am just back from the breast clinic and I officially have an abscess. I have to go in tomorrow to A&E so they can send me for emergency surgery (couldn't do it today as there is a serious case in theatre already) so I will just have to go along and wait to see if they can operate.

Problem is that I already had several bouts of mastitis, antibiotics and then a "blocked milk duct" therefore more antibiotics. Nothing worked. Last night my purple & black lump had blistered and all the skin started to rupture although the abscess has not burst. Luckily I had a follow up appt today where they were asking who had seen me last time (it was you Mr Medicine...) and did I want to come back tomorrow cos it will likely burst if I don't (which made me feel like they were trying to say it was my fault it had got this bad like I was sitting at home refusing to get helpe when I have in fact been to and from the GP and hospital since the end of November 2011).

I am terrified of going into hospital tomorro as I will have to go under general anaesthetic. They didn't really explain what will happen although I asked lots and lots of questions. Anyway, I really wanted to share with you who have been through it and thanks soooo much for sharing your experiences. I am a bit more open eyed about it all now. Looks like a long road to recovery.

My milk has already dried up though - I was in such pain and on antibiotics so long that I gave up breastfeeding so hopefully that means the abscess surgery won't be affected by engorgement which must be a nightmare.

Anyway, wish me luck for tomorrow. I just hope they can do the surgery - it's been a nightmare and horrible trying to suddenly arrange for my 2 DS's (toddler and 4 month old) since I have never left them both for 2 days (since I could be kept in). Sigh. Panic panic panic.

BizzeeBee Wed 01-Feb-12 19:48:46

Good luck for tomorrow Tamashii. I had to do a similar thing when I had my abscess operated on, in that I was given an appointment to go to A&E on the Monday. When I presented myself at A&E the receptionist looked at me like I was crazy when I said I had an appointment at A&E! grin

I was able to be operated on and go home the same day. The operation itself, assuming no complications, is very quick, in my case they said less than 1/2 an hour. So if you are able to get into theater by early afternoon, you might be able to go home the same day.

From reading other peoples' stories here and reflecting on my own experience, I think that if you have an I&D before the abscess bursts and don't have lots of skin damage to heal, then the recovery is only a few weeks and it rapidly gets easier. It was about 4 weeks for mine to be completely healed with the scab fallen off.

Try not to panic, and let us know how you get on when you have a chance. smile

Tamashii Sat 04-Feb-12 14:55:23

Thanks BizzeeBee

Well that is me home after the op. Everything went fine. The abscess started to rupture as I was gowned up on the trolley outside the anaesthetist's room waiting to go for surgery! Agony. You are right - the op only took about half an hour but I was kept in since the abscess was a lot deeper than they thought and it needed to be packed with extra surgical dressing instead of whatever "wick" type packing they usually use.

Now I am home there is some ambiguity towards how I am to care for the wound. Two nurses are coming out again to see me so they can decide what to do with the wound since the advice on my discharge papers was to leave it open but they believe it should definitely be packed.

I am actually quite upset and worried that I have been operated on (first operation I have ever had) and then let home with a small bag of dressings and some painkillers but no definite inidication of how this gaping hole in my breast should be treated. It doesn't fill me with confidence in the NHS to be honest and I am feeling quite alone. The district nurse who came out today said not to worry, she will make sure I am well taken care of which made me feel better since my treatment at the hospital seemed to me to be quite random and not planned out but I guess it was emergency surgery and that can't be planned...

Sorry if I am waffling - the painkillers are making things nice and fuzzy. I have to say the wound is pretty painful but nothing like the pain of the abscess! Getting the packing removed was really painful but quickly done and I didn't look down while it was happening. Breathing techniques from antenatal classes came in handy for the packing being removed I must say! I just wish it was a wound that you could have bandaged up and ignore for a few weeks so it could heal up you know? The thought of having to clean it out, repack and redress it every day is making me feel physically sick.

Thanks for reassuring me about the healing time too - it's good to have some kind of time scale. They seem to think mine will take around 3 weeks to start to look/feel better then heal up well after that. Providing it is kept clean and open though. It's such a horrible thing to have isn't it? I really wish there had been a bigger warning about the potential abscess from recurring blocked ducts. I might have been a bit more militant about massaging out every last drop of milk instead of relying on the antibiotics to clear up the infection.

Thanks again so much for this thread. It's amazing to have this information and support as it's really difficult to find anything helpful about this horrible thing.

Panzee Sat 04-Feb-12 15:02:01

I had one with my son which took 2 months to heal. The district nurses really are the experts with wound care so I would listen to them. They do it all day with different people. They also had the good (expensive) packing stuff - seaweed and silver if I remember rightly! - which I would take to the breast clinic appointments as the hospital had the cheaper cotton dressing.

Initially the packing would be painful and knock me sick but I would take one of the painkillers before they started and it wouldn't be so bad. As the wound got smaller I didn't need the painkillers.

It was long, hard and boring but all is well now. I did feel a bit trapped in the house, didn't feel I could leave till the nurse had been, but as I improved it became less of an issue.

As for breastfeeding, I didn't bother after I got sick. The breast surgeon was supportive of either choice, though, and encouraged it initially until I said I didn't want to do it any more.

Hope your recovery goes well.

BizzeeBee Sun 05-Feb-12 09:45:06

The packing isn't very nice, but it does get better. I found that the first session was the worst because the surgeon had very kindly packed it nice and tight while I was asleep, forgetting that I would be wide awake with basic painkillers when it all had to be removed!

After a while the packing wasn't needed and I just needed the nurse to clean the wound and apply a new dressing, and eventually when it had scabbed over I was able to do the cleaning and dressing myself.

Keep positive, and at least you have had it sorted out and are on the road to recovery now. smile

bunnyfrance Sun 05-Feb-12 11:52:08

replying to kitty83 - It was me who had the abscesses while pregnant - I can reassure you that I had strange prickling sensations all through the pregnancy after the operation, but everything turned out fine - DD is now almost 6 months, EBF no problems, and no sign of the return of the abscess. And congratuations on your pregnancy!

ClearlyMoo Mon 29-Sep-14 07:48:28

Hi all. I wish I'd found this thread months ago. I searched for "breast abscess" and this one slipped through the radar.

Oh my goodness. It's so nice to read your stories (except it isn't as they are all horrific, you poor things).

I'm conscious this is a "zombie thread" so this might never be seen and it was collectively 2-5 years ago since you were all having a hard time.

I tell my story here

There seems to be NO support for breast abscess sufferers anywhere except the odd fab MN thread like this. I'm half wondering about setting up a sufferers forum, or at least a Facebook group.

I would so have valued the support of others who'd been through/were going through similar at the time.

My abscess 6cm diameter burst before they could do the GA and so was I&Dd / cleaned up under local (owwww).

It's now almost 3 months since my first aspiration (10 days before the burst). I saw FOUR different GPs and had three different lots of ABs before the last OOH one I saw sent me straight to hospital.

If I created a FB group would people be happy to contribute/ help future sufferers?!

knuckles0818 Wed 03-Dec-14 03:09:07

at ClearMoo, i also wished i read this thread before. i just had my surgery last week and so shocked to see a large hole in my breast.

i had mastitis before and went to an OBGYNE but she just told me to drink paracetamol and do hot compress. the next day fever and lump was gone though i didn't take any antibiotics.

after one month, a lump appeared again and i thought it was just a clogged duct as i do not feel any fever. this continued for 2 months. i was tested for cancer! but luckily, it was breast abscess.

i had the surgery last week and i was hoping to search for any food or medicine that can make my healing faster.

just sharing. there should be more awareness to this breast abscess thing.

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