Note that the previously mentioned conditions cannot be categorized as typical complications because they are just the outcome of the disease. Moreover, they can vary from one person to another. There is no need to worry about breast cancer in this disease unless you found a hard lump near the affected nipple.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To confirm mammary duct ectasia, some additional tests are done along with a physical examination, such as ultrasound and diagnostic mammography. In the former, sound waves are used to inspect the milk ducts beneath the nipple and evaluate the area under suspicion. Ultrasound helps the doctor to determine the extent of mammary duct ectasia as well, and recommend the right mode of treatment for the condition. Diagnostic mammography involves X-ray of a specific part of the breast for detailed evaluation. It will highlight the infected milk duct beneath your affected nipple.
There is no specific treatment for mammary duct ectasia and it improves on itself with time. Yet if the symptoms are persistent, and are causing restlessness, then a few treatment options can be devised for the patient. Usually, the doctors at women’s community healthcare centers prescribe an antibiotic for 10 to 14 days to treat the infection caused by mammary duct ectasia. For relieving the pain, the patients can take mild painkillers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, after consulting with the doctor.
In case the medications do not work in relieving the pain and inflammation, a surgery would be recommended to remove that specifically affected milk duct beneath the nipple. During the procedure, a tiny incision is made near the affected area, right beside the nipple, and the blocked mammary duct is removed with the help of specialized equipment. However, surgery is very rarely required to treat mammary duct ectasia.
- Apply a warm compress to soothe the painful area around your nipples. You can use a soft cloth dipped in warm water for that.
- Use breast pads for nipple discharges, which are readily available at any local drugstore near you.
- Choose a good and supporting bra, which will keep the breast pad in place and avoid leakage of any nipple discharge.
- Sleep on the side of the breast that is not affected to avoid restlessness.
- Stop smoking and excessive use of alcohol, because these prolong the period of an infection and can also cause recurrent infections or abscess.