Subareolar Breast Abscesses: Characteristics and Results of Surgical Treatment


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: F. N. L. Versluijs-Ossewaarde, MD, Department of Surgery, Máxima Medical Center, P.O. Box 7777, 5500 MB Veldhoven, The Netherlands, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Our objective was to describe the characteristics of subareolar breast abscesses and to analyze the results of surgical treatment in relation to the prevention of recurrences. Almost 70% of patients smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day. The recurrence rate after excision of the lactiferous ducts was 28% and after management without excision of the lactiferous ducts was 79% (p < 0.001). Gram-positive bacteria were isolated more frequently in primary subareolar breast abscesses (not significant). Anaerobic microorganisms were more frequently cultured in recurring subareolar breast abscesses (p = 0.02). Definitive treatment of subareolar breast abscesses should consist of excision of the affected lactiferous ducts.