Breast Duct Ectasia: 54 year old female with MRI report showing ductal ectasia with diffuse disc bulge at Lv5 and Sv1, what are treatment options?

Duct ectasia occurs when the milk duct in the breasts dilates. This causes the walls of the duct to thicken and become clogged with fluid. The condition usually gets better without any treatment and is not a sign of any serious complication. However if the symptoms continue or become severe, antibiotic treatment may become necessary. Antibiotics help to reduce the infection in the duct. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, then make sure that you take the entire course. You can also take pain relievers to alleviate discomfort. In rare cases, surgery is required to remove the affected duct. This is done by making a small incision around the areola of the nipple. Most cases of duct ectasia subside with the following self-care measures:

  • Place a warm compress over the affected nipple to relieve swelling and pain. Avoid using too much heat as it can cause burns on the skin.
  • In case there is nipple discharge, you can make use of a bra pad to prevent leakage of the fluid onto your clothes. You can buy these at drugstores. A nursing bra will also be helpful in dealing with discharge.
  • Make sure that your bra fits well and provides adequate support to the breasts. This will help to minimize the pain and discomfort. A well fitting bra will also help to secure the bra pads in place in case of nipple discharge.
  • Avoid sleeping on the side of the inflamed breast so that there is no further strain and discomfort in the area.
  • If you smoke, quit the habit immediately as smoking can aggravate an infection and delay the healing process. It can even lead to recurring infections.
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry at all times as dirt can collect on the body and cause the infection to worsen.

answered by G R

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