Mammary Glands (Breast)

These are hemispherical accessory glands of the female reproductive system, which are concerned with lactation after childbirth.

  • Deep fascia attaches it to the pectoralis major and serratus anterior muscle with the subcutaneous tissues and is weighing about 200-300gm during reproductive age.
  • Each breast has pigmented muscular projection covered by the skin is nipple and it has openings of 15-20 lactiferous ducts.
  • The pigmented surrounding area of the nipple in each breast is called areola which accommodates modified sebaceous glands(oil).
  • Suspensory ligament (Cooper’s ligament) extends from skin to deep fascia which supports the breast.
  • Within each breast is a mammary gland that produces milk, it consists of 15-20 lobes which are separated by adipose tissues with smaller compartments known as lobules, which is composed of grape-like clusters of milk-secreting glands termed as alveoli.
  • A branching longitudinal cell, the myoepithelial cell surrounds the alveoli which secrete and propels milk toward the nipple, contraction of these cells squeezes the alveoli these are lined by columnar cells.
  • When milk is produced it passes from alveoli to secondary tubules and then to the mammary duct.
  • Near the nipple mammary duct dilated to form ampulla or lactiferous sinus where milk is stored then drained into lactiferous ducts to the exterior, where baby can feed.
  • Blood supply to these glands is by the axillary artery, internal mammary, and intercostal arteries and venous drainage by the same corresponding veins.

Watch the 3D Animation Based video on the female breast here:

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