Breast Anatomy Medical Illustrations
The breast is a mass of glandular, fatty and connective tissue. This anatomy, however, has evolved to carry out a very specialised function and that is to produce, store and release milk to feed a baby.
This is made possible through unique anatomy within the breast and involves glandular tissue, connective tissue and the aveolar cells that make the breast milk.
Structure of the Breast
The structure of the breast covers a fairly large area extending from just below the collarbone to the armpit and across to the breastbone. Inside the breast are lobules that branch out around the breast from the areola and is deemed the most important part of the breast as these glands produce the milk. Ducts carry milk from the lobules to the nipple. Connective tissue surrounds and protects the ducts and lobules and gives the breast its shape. Arteries and capillaries supply the breast tissues with blood and oxygen and the lymphatic system made up of a network of lymph nodes and ducts.
The lymphatic system collects excess fluid in the body tissues and returns it to the bloodstream. The lymph system is responsible for the exchanges of fluid and molecules between the blood circulation and body tissues as the blood capillaries may not have reabsorbed all of the fluid. Surrounding lymphatic capillaries absorb the excess fluid. The fluid is then filtered and transported back by the lymphatic system into large veins near the heart.
Supporting the breast, as it is not connected to the underlying muscle directly, are strong suspensor ligaments called Cooper’s Suspensory ligaments. The muscles associated with the breast and located at the chest area are the pectoralis muscle, serratus anterior muscle and the external oblique muscles.