A brief breast anatomy lesson

If you are unhappy with the size or shape of your breasts and are considering breast augmentation or some other type of breast surgery, you want to be sure that you understand what the procedure you have your eye on will accomplish. A breast lift, for example, is very different from a breast augmentation.

Patients rely on plastic surgeons who are experts in anatomy and draw upon their surgical skill and knowledge to create optimal results. Even so, it never hurts for patients to have knowledge of their own anatomy and how it relates to potential surgical decisions.

A breast is made up primarily of two components: fatty tissue and glandular tissue. The fatty tissue is usually the bulk of the breast. This tissue is technically known as adipose tissue and provides volume to the breast without any specialized metabolic function. The glandular tissue is the functional portion of the breast in that its purpose is to produce milk following a pregnancy.

The breast is made up of glandular lobules, which are organized into larger lobes. A typical breast has a dozen to 20 such lobes. Milk produced in these glands moves through increasingly larger ducts until it gets to the nipple.

In addition to these tissues and ducts, breasts are laced with blood vessels and nerves, connective tissue, and ligaments. It is the glandular tissue that may develop a breast tumor, and it is this component of the breast that we target for mammogram screening.

You certainly don’t need to know all of this to be able to discuss breast surgery during a consultation, but understanding what gives a breast its size and shape can help when it comes time to decide which surgical procedure would best achieve your goals.

An informed patient tends to be a happy patient, and a patient’s ultimate satisfaction is what cosmetic plastic surgery is all about.

A consultation visit to discuss breast augmentation or other aesthetic procedures with Dr. Carman may be scheduled by calling the Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Toronto at (416) 322-7108.

Written by +Wayne Carman

Dr. Carman is a Toronto Plastic Surgeon practicing breast, body and facial cosmetic surgery.