Dr. Radha IyengarBreast Surgery

Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis

2 min read
Idiopathic granulomatous mastitis (IGM) is a rare condition that can be confused with regular mastitis. 
IGM is a benign inflammatory condition that is usually self-limited. 
The cause of IGM is unknown but it typically occurs in young women within a few years of pregnancy. I can also occur in women who have never been pregnant. 
Symptoms of I GM are consistent with a mastitis or breast abscess. This can include overlying redness and ulceration of the skin with purulent drainage.
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Commonly women present with a painful mass with associated redness that does not improve with antibiotics. 
Often, cultures done of underlying fluid reveals no growth of bacteria.
Diagnosis can be made by doing a biopsy of the abscess cavity or tissue and finding granulomas on pathology. 
However, it should be noted that typically any invasive procedure done for symptomatic relief or diagnosis may worsen the process. 
Once granulomatous mastitis has been diagnosed or is found to be highly likely, the typical treatment is management of symptoms until the disease burns itself out. This could take anywhere from 5 to 20 months. 
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Sometimes steroids can lessen the symptoms but has not been shown to decrease the overall duration of the process. 
If you suspect that you may have granulomatous mastitis, you should seek care from a breast surgeon to get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.