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THE ANATOMY OF THE BREASTS

Jan. 11, 2010. The anatomy of the female breast is a complex system composed of several layers of adipose tissue (fat tissue) in most cases, but also glandular and fibrous. The bosom or the breast is an extern gland secretion. Their internal structure can be altered to change depending on several factors such as menstrual cycle, the period of pregnancy or age, varying in each case. Breasts are a pair of glandular organs situated in the middle of the thorax.

The nipple (more or less protuberant) and the areola (dark area surrounding the nipple) are usually located in the center of the breast. The first rises as a thick papilla in the center of the areola. Usually it has the appearance of a cylinder or cone, but sometimes a depression can be presented (retracted nipple). Its dimensions are variable, but are directly related to the size of the breast. Externally, the nipple is irregular and rough due to a large number of papillae and furrows that cover its surface. At its end there are ten or twelve holes in which there is milk ducts.

As for the areola, it is a circular region of 15 to 25 mm in diameter situated on the most prominent part of the breast; the color is darker than the surrounding skin. Its interior there are prominences (between 12 and 20) called Morgagni tubers, arranged so that they are irregular and they are sebaceous glands. The appearance and size of the areola is subject to significant variations during pregnancy. The fibro adipose tissue above mentioned, along with a duct system, is responsible for uniting the mammary glands to extern. The larger milk ducts, located in the area of the nipple, branch within the breast, coming out in the mammary glands or lobules.

Each of these lobes consists of a duct system with a corresponding exit hole in the nipple. They are attached to the skin through collagen bands that some specialists call suspending Cooper ligaments. On the inferior part they are fixed to the pectoral muscle fascicles. A along its entire length, the milk ducts are lined by two layers of cells: an internal and continuous of epithelial cells and another external discontinuous miopethial cells (the aspect of the last one can be variable).

Both the structure and function of the mammary gland varies depending on the timing of the development in which they are, depending on the balance between the processes of proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis (programmed cell death).

 


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