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What is acute mastitis?

What is acute mastitis?

Acute mastitis is usually a bacterial infection and is seen most commonly in the postpartum period. Bacteria invade the breast through the small erosions in the nipple of a lactating woman, and an abscess can result. Chronic mastitis can be a sequela of acute mastitis, or more commonly, associated with duct ectasia.

What causes acute mastitis?

Milk that is trapped in the breast is the main cause of mastitis. Other causes include: A blocked milk duct. If a breast doesn’t completely empty at feedings, one of your milk ducts can become clogged.

How is acute mastitis treated?

Mastitis treatment might involve:

  1. Antibiotics. If you have an infection, a 10-day course of antibiotics is usually needed.
  2. Pain relievers. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).

What are the complications of mastitis?

Cessation of breast-feeding is the most common complication of mastitis. This may lead to emotional distress in women who had planned to continue breast-feeding. Serious complications occur in cases where treatment is delayed, incorrect or ineffective. These include breast abscess and sepsis.

Which bacteria causes acute mastitis?

Mastitis reduces milk production and milk quality. Mastitis causing pathogens include bacteria (mostly Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococcus, Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus dyslactiae, Streptococcus agalactiae, enterococci and coliform bacteria including Escherichia coli) and Mycoplasmas.

Can mastitis cause permanent damage?

Mastitis can very quickly cause permanent damage and a long-term reduction in milk yield. Treatment may reduce some of these effects, but it often does not fully remove them. Mastitis is usually a result of bacterial infection.

How long should mastitis last?

Most women can and should continue to breastfeed despite an episode of uncomplicated mastitis. With proper treatment, symptoms should begin to resolve within one to two days. A breast abscess may require surgical drainage, IV antibiotics, and a short hospital stay. A small incision is made and usually heals quite well.