Blood vessels of the female breast
Completing this study unit will enable you to:
- Understand the arterial supply and venous drainage of the female breast.
- Name the main arteries and veins involved in the breast vasculature.
The arterial supply of the female breast is given by branches of three arteries:
- Internal thoracic artery (supply to the medial part of the breast)
- Main branches to the breast: medial mammary branches and anterior intercostal branches
- Axillary artery (supply to the superolateral part of the breast)
- Main branches to the breast: lateral thoracic artery, pectoral branch of thoracoacromial artery
- Posterior intercostal arteries (supply to the lateral part of the breast)
The venous drainage of the female breast mostly mimics the arteries. The blood drains mainly into the axillary vein, but there is some drainage into the internal thoracic vein.
Watch the video below for a more comprehensive overview on the vascularization of the female breast.
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Take a closer look at the arterial supply of the female breast in the gallery below.
Now that you have a good understanding of the arteries, it's time to take a look at the veins of the female breast.
|Arteries of the female breast
Internal thoracic artery: Medial mammary branches and anterior intercostal branches (medial aspect of the breast)
Axillary artery: Lateral thoracic artery, pectoral branch of thoracoacromial artery (superolateral aspect of the breast)
Posterior intercostal artery (lateral part of the breast)
|Veins of the female breast
Axillary vein: Receives blood from cephalic, basilic, brachial and lateral thoracic veins
Posterior intercostal vein: Drain the lateral aspect of the breast into the azygos system
Internal thoracic vein: Drains the medial aspect of the breast into the brachiocephalic vein