Mammology is a relatively young branch of medicine, but problems with the mammary gland have always existed. Especially often, all sorts of pathologies occur in lactating women who experience increased stress on the breast. Mastitis is a fairly common diagnosis in the mammologist's office, which may not be associated with breastfeeding, and even appears in newborn babies and men. So what is this disease? And how to deal with it?
Mastitis: the main symptoms
According to the medical dictionary, mastitis is an inflammation of the breast. Today, science knows several forms of mastitis, and each of them will reflect the sequence of the process - serous, infiltration, purulent. In addition, mastitis can be associated with breastfeeding (lactational), and not associated with it - lactation-free.
Depending on the stage of development of the process, the symptoms may be different. But at the same time, pathology is characterized by general indicators, which include a violation of the patient’s general condition, the appearance of chills, fever, the formation of chest pains, an increase in its size. On examination, a sharply painful hardening in the breast tissue is determined. Such symptoms of mastitis will be characteristic equally, both for lactational and lactation forms. In fairness, it is worth noting that mastitis in non-nursing patients is easier than during lactation, and this form of the disease is much less likely to become purulent, and, moreover, it is better treatable.
The first stage of mastitis is serous mastitis, which is characterized by the penetration of pathogenic microorganisms into the breast tissue, followed by their reproduction. For these reasons, inflammation and all the resulting symptoms are formed. Namely, an increase in body temperature to 38.5 degrees, a deterioration in general well-being. Chest pains become pulling, permanent, with a tendency to increase pain. The skin of the breast acquires a red tint; palpation can be groped with small seals.
At the infiltration stage of development, the foci of inflammation merge with each other, the breast tissue begins to swell. Everything is still high body temperature, chest pain is worse. On palpation, you can easily find a sedentary infiltration. This significantly increases the lymph nodes in the armpit on the affected side.
For purulent mastitis, the contents of the seal (infiltration) is filled with pus. The temperature rises significantly, to 39.5 degrees and above, chills. Even with a visual examination, a change in the shape and shape of the breast is noticeable - a pronounced swelling, the skin is red and hot to the touch. The pain remains intense and becomes pulsating in nature, and pain from the lymph nodes in the armpit is added.
Consider the causes of pathology:
- Mastitis is an infectious process, and is associated primarily with various microorganisms and fungi entering the breast tissue. Most often, mastitis is caused by staphylococci, E. coli, streptococci, etc. Micro-organisms can penetrate through the excretory ducts, through the injured skin, through the hematogenous and lymphogenous pathways.
- There are a number of factors that will contribute to the development of mastitis. First of all, these are various injuries - bruises, nipple cracks - these circumstances contribute to the penetration of the infection into the chest. In addition, you should not forget about hypothermia, reduced work immunity, hormonal changes.
Treatment of mastitis does not require delay, the developing ailment does not hide the symptoms and quickly moves from one stage to another. In appointing treatment, the doctor will take into account many factors and mainly the presence or absence of breastfeeding. So with a conservative method of treatment, namely the appointment of an antibiotic, it is the fact of breastfeeding will be crucial in the choice of drugs. In addition to antibiotics, symptomatic therapy is prescribed, which allows you to quickly alleviate the patient's condition - anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, painkillers, etc.
In addition to antibiotic therapy, during breastfeeding, great importance is given to activities aimed at reducing milk stagnation in the affected breast. It can be a pumping out, carrying out massage, besides it and drug therapy is appointed. With the ineffectiveness of the conservative method of treatment, surgical treatment may be prescribed. The reason for such a radical treatment lies in the presence of small abscesses containing thick pus.
Possible complications and consequences
Purulent forms of mastitis can already be safely considered a complication and a very terrible consequence. They can provoke the destruction of the mammary gland, cicatricial changes - changes in size and shape, to a greater extent this is a cosmetic defect.
In some cases, the purulent process can spread to the nearest tissue, which can later provoke erysipelas, phlegmon, gangrene. The spread of infection can also be dangerous in terms of sepsis. It is worth noting that sepsis is a condition that threatens the patient’s life.
- Due to the fact that mastitis is an infectious process, the main measure of prevention will be reduced to the observance of elementary rules of personal hygiene. In addition, it is necessary to take measures for the treatment of infectious diseases in time, and to protect the chest from injuries and hypothermia.
- For nursing women is of paramount importance a properly chosen underwear, which will not have squeezing of the mammary glands.
- Also relevant measures to prevent the formation of cracks and nipple abrasions. For the treatment of nipple cracks can be used as a means of modern medicine, and folk, for example, any keratoplastic - a drug that will stimulate tissue regeneration - sea buckthorn oil, oil solution of vitamin A, etc.
- For the prevention of mastitis in nursing women an important role is played by proper, well-established breastfeeding. If it was recommended to decant, it should also be carried out according to the rules, until the chest is completely empty.
The disease can develop not only in young mothers, although the latter, is much more common. Mastitis in nursing and non-nursing women has similar symptoms that cannot be ignored. To the mammary gland and its diseases, you must be treated carefully at any age. Even the most minor inconvenience may indicate the development of a serious pathology.