Female Breast Surgery

The breast is one of two prominences found on the upper ventral region of the torso of male and female primates. In females it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk and feeds infants. Both males and females develop breasts from the same embryological tissues. At puberty, estrogens, in conjunction with growth hormone, causes breast development. Males do not develop pronounced or well-matured breasts because their bodies produce lower levels of estrogens and higher levels ofandrogens, namely testosterone, which suppress the effects of estrogens in developing breast tissue. The breasts of females are typically far more prominent than those of males.

Subcutaneous fat covers and envelops a network of ducts that converge to the nipple, and these tissues give the breast its size and shape. At the ends of the ducts are lobules, or clusters of alveoli, where milk is produced and stored in response to hormonal signals. During pregnancy, the breast responds to a complex interaction of hormones, including estrogens, progesterone, andprolactin, that mediate the completion of its development, namely lobuloalveolar maturation, in preparation of lactation andbreastfeeding. Upon childbirth, the alveoli are stimulated to produce and secrete milk for infants.

Along with their function in feeding infants, female breasts have social and sexual characteristics. Breasts have been featured in notable ancient and modern sculpture, art, and photography. Female breasts can figure prominently in a woman’s perception of her body image and sexual attractiveness. A number of Western cultures associate breasts with sexuality and tend to regard bare breasts as immodest or indecent. Breasts and especially the nipples are an erogenous zone on women. Given the emphasis of some cultures on breast size and attractiveness, some women seek breast augmentation or other kinds of surgery to enlarge or reduce their breast size or to reverse sagging breasts.

Etymology

The English word breast derives from the Old English word brēost (breast, bosom) from Proto-Germanic breustam (breast), from the Proto-Indo-European base bhreus– (to swell, to sprout).The breast spelling conforms to the Scottish and North English dialectal pronunciations.

Anatomy

In women, the breasts overlay the pectoralis major muscles and usually extend from the level of the second rib to the level of the sixth rib in the front of the human rib cage; thus, the breasts cover much of the chest area and the chest walls. At the front of the chest, the breast tissue can extend from the clavicle (collarbone) to the middle of the sternum (breastbone). At the sides of the chest, the breast tissue can extend into the axilla (armpit), and can reach as far to the back as the latissimus dorsi muscle, extending from the lower back to the humerus bone (the longest bone of the upper arm). As a mammary gland, the breast is composed of layers of different types of tissue, among which predominate two types, adipose tissue andglandular tissue, which effects the lactation functions of the breasts.

Glandular structure

The breast is an apocrine gland that produces milk to feed an infant child; for which the nipple of the breast is surrounded by the areola (nipple-areola complex), the skin color of which varies from pink to dark brown, and has many sebaceous glands.

Lymphatic drainage

Approximately 75% of the lymph from the breast travels to the axillary lymph nodes on the same side of the body, whilst 25% of the lymph travels to the parasternal nodes (beside the sternum bone)

 

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