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Structure of the female breast

Learning objectives 

This study unit will help you to: 

  1. Learn and understand the anatomy of the female breast by analyzing its structure from frontal and sagittal aspects.
  2. Name the supporting structures of the breast and learn their function.
  3. Learn about the blood supply of the female breast.

Watch video

The female breast is an excretory organ that contains mammary glands for producing milk for nursing newborns.

Our video tutorial analyzes the female breast from the frontal and sagittal aspects. Exploring the frontal view of the female breast, you will learn about the surface anatomy landmarks of the female breast, as well as the structural components of the breast that are seen from this view underneath the skin.

Exploring the sagittal view, you will get a better glance at the supporting structures of the female breast. Moreover, you will be able to completely understand the organization of the structural units of the female breast, as well as their relations with each other.

Take a quiz

Solidify your knowledge and discover potential weak spots with the quiz below.

If you want to focus on a broader anatomy of the female breast, including the topics such as the neurovasculature and lymphatics of the female breast, try out our customizable quiz.

Browse atlas

Take a closer look at the anatomical structures of the female breast from a sagittal view in the gallery below. 

Now explore the anatomical structures of the female breast from a frontal view.

Key points

Key points about the female breast structure
Mammary gland 15-20 secretory lobes divided by the suspensory ligaments of breast
The lobes converge towards the lactiferous ducts which convey the milk out of the breast
Suspensory ligaments of breast Fibrous bands that originate from the underlying pectoral fascia and insert to the dermis of the overlying skin, supporting the non-ptotic shape of the breasts
Blood supply Mammary branches of posterior intercostal, lateral thoracic and internal thoracic arteries
Function Production and secretion of milk in order to nurse a newborn
Milk production in the mammary gland is regulated by prolactin, while milk ejection through the nipple is regulated by oxytocin.

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