Or something. They're not quite sure what it is, and I want some opinions. I'd been dealing with a milk bleb for a couple of months, then last Sunday I developed mastitis and a mass. The one doc I saw thought the mass was from engorgement so just started me on an antiobitic and told me to watch it. 24 hours later and I was still having a fever and shaking chills so I went back in, and they switched up my antibiotic and told me to call OB in the morning to have them check out the mass. He took one look at it and diagnosed an abscess and sent me to a surgeon. Surgeon (who, btw, is about the 5th coworker to see my boob in 3 days, seeing as I work at the clinic) agreed with possible abscess but wanted to use a needle to check for pus before slicing open my boob (makes sense). So he numbs up the area and takes an 18-gauge (aka big freakin') needle and tries poking around for a pus pocket. Now remember, this is in my mastitis-infected, omg-don't-touch-me boob. Gives it the ol' college try and I about broke the nurse's hand from squeezing it but he wasn't able to successfully aspirate any pus. However, at that time when I would pump on that side I was able to get a drop of pus out, so I know there's some in there somewhere. So now, my only option is wait. Wait for it to go away or wait for it to mature into an official abscess that they can drain. So how do I know if it's abscessed? He said it will get squishy, but I want to hear from someone who's actually had an abscess. It is better today, most of the redness is gone and it doesn't hurt nearly as much, but that mass is still there and it's still really sore. I was even able to pump some milk out this morning, something I haven't been able to do since Monday, so that made me happy.
Bubba (9) Lukey (5) Fat Baby (2) Me
I've seen several but never had one. The ones I've seen were all diagnosed with ultrasound. One had ultrasound guided aspiration (better than going in blind with an 18 gauge!) and the other 2 had I&D - one in the OR. For I&D it is really important for the cut to be made from the nipple out (like the spoke on a bicycle wheel) rather than around the circumference of the breast, so that nerves won't get cut and supply won't be as affected.
The big nasty one I saw didn't get squishy - it was hard and the skin was affected too.
Hope you get it sorted soon - it sounds painful! Keep nursing on that side as much as you can!
This is a late reply. I hope it is all better now. I had a milk blister that gave me a lot of trouble for a few weeks. I was able to keep the milk flowing but it eventually became sealed to the point that I was no longer able to open it by hand or with a needle and it became so full and firm,. It ended up turning into mastitis (which I have had many times :/ so when I read the part about them poking you I couldn't help but cringe :O ). I usually am able to clear mine up with a natural remedy I make but this time it just wasn't working and I knew I needed antibiotics or it could turn into an abscess. It took the whole 10 day dose to clear it completely. It sounds like you were able to clear yours if you were getting milk out. Good luck in the future!
Just an update, it is better. The pain is gone, the redness is down to a pale pink and clearing up every day, and the mass is shrinking. It's still there, but it's a little bigger than a pea as opposed to a shooter marble :) And there's still milk on that side, I think the supply took a hit in the two days I wasn't able to pump or nurse but I didn't dry up completely, so that's good.
Bubba (9) Lukey (5) Fat Baby (2) Me