The vast majority of breast research is focused on breast cancer; however, benign breast inflammation and infection accounts for 3% of all breast-related hospital admissions (1). These patients tend to be younger (mean age 40 versus 58 years) and are more likely to present as an emergency (61% versus 2%) compared to patients with malignant breast neoplasms (1). Since the majority of breast surgeons are no longer participating in the on-call rota, we hypothesise that most patients with mastitis and breast infections are managed by non-specialist general surgeons and the type of treatment these patients receive depends on that individual surgeon’s expertise. Although we have some idea on how many patients are admitted, the average length of hospital stay and the number of incision and drainage operations performed (1, 2), the data is not detailed enough to identify any areas for improvement.

This MAMMA study will enable us to gather precise evidence on antibiotic prescribing, rate of operative versus radiological management, waiting time to ultrasound scan, rate of inpatient versus outpatient treatment, length of hospital stay and the rate of follow-up by breast surgeons. This high-quality data will be instrumental in updating guidelines and help to standardise the management of mastitis and breast abscess across the UK. In addition, we expect that the findings of this national audit will establish the protocol for future annual re-audit to ensure maintenance of appropriate treatment standards.


Collaborators who contribute substantially to this study, but whose contribution does not meet the ICMJE standard, will be included in the list of citable collaborators as part of MAMMA Study Trainee Research Collaborative.  Substantial contribution includes being a regional trainee lead, a local trainee lead for each centre or any collaborator that collects and submits data for a minimum of 10 patients. Prior to publication, local trainee leads will be consulted on the list of collaborators that should be cited or acknowledged. 


Collaborators, whose contribution to this study does not meet the citable collaborator criteria, will be acknowledged and will receive a certificate of participation. Consultants, who contribute patients to this study but do not personally participate in data collection will also be acknowledged. The individual centre data will be owned by the local collaboratives and the individual Trusts, and can be presented as part of the local clinical governance meeting.

  1. NHS Digital, Office for National Statistics (ONS). Hospital Episode Statistics for England. Admitted Patient Care statistics, 2017-18. 2018 [Available from: publications/statistical/hospital-admitted-patient-care-activity/2017-18.
  2. 2. NHS Digital, Office for National Statistics (ONS). Hospital Episode Statistics for England. Admitted Patient Care statistics, 2017-18: Procedures and interventions. 2018 [Available from: data-and-information/publications/statistical/hospital-admitted-patient-care-activity/2017-18.