June 1974

Abscess in Nonlactating Breast

Author Affiliations

Baltimore, MD

Arch Surg. 1974;108(6):880. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01350300110031

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To the Editor.—The article in the September Archives, "Abscess in the Nonlactating Breast" (107:398, 1973) by Ekland and Zeigler quotes a recurrence rate of these subareolar abscesses at 39.5% in their experience.

My experience with this problem was reported in an article in the American Surgeon (33:339, 1967) and emphasizes that these abscesses, both acute and chronic, must be treated by excision of the involved duct for cure. Incision and drainage results only in a duct fistula since the underlying pathologic finding for these abscesses is ductectasia with infection entering by way of the nipple. The organisms (when cultures are requested), as might be expected, are varied and probably are introduced from oralnipple contact.

Mastectomy should not be required to cure such a simple problem.

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