My wife stopped breastfeeding our third child five months ago, after a lot of sucking difficulties and painful nipples. Because of that, her breasts plugged and did not empty properly. She has tried breast pump without any luck. She has now developed painful galactoceles on both her breasts. How long does it take before these galactoceles disappear by themselves? They have not declined in size since all this time. Is it necessary to go for a surgery? If so, what specialist would perform this kind of surgery?
A galactocele is a milk filled space inside the breast. Breast problems are common after childbirth in those women who had stopped breastfeeding or experienced sucking difficulties. Firstly, I hope you are sure that it is truly a galactocele and not any other swelling. Probably it was diagnosed by mammography already. If not, you have to get it done first to assess the nature of the swelling. However, considering this as a galactocele, I understand your concern, as five months has passed without any regression of size. Now, as per my opinion, there are limited options for conservative therapy. Let us hope that it might resolve on its own. There are two options available. The first one is to go for aspiration of the cysts under ultrasonography guidance. If this fails, the second option of open surgery should be considered for drainage. And a general surgeon can perform these procedures after a proper diagnosis, and few preoperative investigations.
Thanks for replying.
Does a galactocele disturb the female hormones? My wife became pregnant again three months after the delivery. But, they could not find any fetal heart activity several weeks after a positive pregnancy test, just a hint of a yolk. There was a slow increase of hCG levels up to 900, before it dropped down to 200, accompanied by bleeding. The pregnancy ended in an abortion, three months into it. My wife had several episodes of bleeding during these three months. Is it possible that the galactoceles have influenced the hormones, and has lead to pregnancy complications? Or is it just a coincidence?
I am sorry about your loss. In reality, the fact is just the reverse. A sudden change in hormonal levels can influence the ductal system inside the breasts, and there can be a secretion inside, and a block at the outlet, resulting in a galactocele. So, pregnancy cannot be affected by it, but the reverse, that is, change in the hormonal profile during pregnancy can affect the lactating breast is true. So, this is not the issue that caused the miscarriage.
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