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Negative pressure wound therapy on a lactating breast: a case that demonstrates it can be achieved

Susan de Wet
8 December 2022

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is common after debridement of necrotic tissue post mastitis, when a gaping wound needs to be treated, but there is limited scientific evidence on the use of NPWT on the lactating breast. Patients are sent home with an open wound draining pus and milk, information on self care, and often a course of milk suppression drugs. However, NPWT treatment might decrease wound healing time considerably, giving women the opportunity to continue breastfeeding. Cost implications might be the only hurdle. The author describes a case of bilateral abscesses in lactating breasts. NPWT was used to treat one abscess, allowing a comparison between the NPWT-treated wound and the others. Healing was twice as fast in the NPWT-treated wound compared to the patient’s other breast wounds. The patient also found the cleanliness of the NPWT to be more comfortable, compared to the open drainage of her other wounds.

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