Treatment of breast abscesses with sonographically guided aspiration, irrigation, and instillation of antibiotics

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2003 Oct;181(4):1089-91. doi: 10.2214/ajr.181.4.1811089.


Objective: We studied the feasibility of treating breast abscesses with sonographically guided aspiration, irrigation, and local instillation of antibiotics without placing indwelling catheters.

Materials and methods: Seventy-three patients with breast abscesses were seen from 1995 to 2001. Aspiration and irrigation were performed under sonographic guidance. Repeated aspiration was performed when deemed necessary. One gram of cephradine was injected into 29 abscesses measuring more than 25 mm.

Results: Six patients refused further treatment after failure of the first aspiration and elected surgical drainage. Of the remaining 67 patients who completed treatment, 38 required one aspiration for cure, 18 required two aspirations, and eight required more than two aspirations. The treatment failed and surgical drainage was required in only three of the 67 patients completing treatment.

Conclusion: Ninety-six percent of patients completing treatment were cured with this procedure. Local instillation of antibiotics is probably beneficial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Abscess / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Breast Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Diseases / therapy*
  • Cephradine / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Instillation, Drug
  • Middle Aged
  • Suction / methods
  • Therapeutic Irrigation
  • Ultrasonography


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephradine