Anatomy

The breast is composed of glandular tissue called lobules. Each of these lobules is drained by 15-20 lactiferous ducts in each breast.

The blood supply of the breast is provided by lateral perforating branches of the internal thoracic artery, also known as the internal mammary artery. In 75% of patients, the lateral blood supply of the breast is based on perforating medial branches of the lateral thoracic artery. Medial breast lymph drainage is to the parasternal lymph nodes. Lateral breast lymph drainage is by the axillary nodes.

Multiple breasts can develop in both males and females, following a predetermined milk line. Multiple breasts are termed polymastia. If only an extra nipple or areola is present, this is termed polythelia. The unilateral absence of a breast is referred to as Poland's syndrome. Poland's syndrome can also be associated with the absence of the pectoralis muscle.

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