Ultrasound-guided drainage of breast abscesses: Results in 151 patients

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The aim of this paper is to describe the efficacy of ultrasound-guided drainage of breast abscesses with special attention to the risk of recurrence and the need for surgical treatment in a consecutive patient population. 151 patients, 89 with puerperal and 62 with non-puerperal breast abscesses, were treated with ultrasound-guided drainage, by needle or catheter under local anaesthesia. Follow-up punctures were performed at 2 or 3 day intervals until the clinical condition and ultrasound findings had improved. All patients were treated with oral antibiotics. Mammography was performed to search for underlying cancer. 86 (97%) out of 89 patients with puerperal abscesses and 50 (81%) out of 62 with non-puerperal abscesses recovered after the first round of ultrasound-guided drainage. One patient in each group had recurrence in loco but recovered after further ultrasound-guided drainage. 13 patients, 11 with non-puerperal and two with puerperal abscesses, underwent surgical excision of the abscess cavity or fistulas. Breastfeeding continued and 117 patients were treated as outpatients. The median number of follow up examinations in the ultrasound-department was four (range 1-10) for the group of patients with puerperal abscess and three (range 1-7) in the group of patients with non-puerperal abscess. The corresponding figure for the median number of punctures was for both groups one (range 1-6 and 1-4). There were no reports of newly diagnosed breast cancer in the 2 year follow-up period. This study supports the use of ultrasound-guided drainage in puerperal and non-puerperal breast abscesses. The method is less invasive than traditional surgery and has a high rate of success.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number927
Pages (from-to)186-188
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

ID: 331493679