Structure and function of mammary gland
Mammology – Breast surgery – Eurodoctor.ru – 2008
Mammary glands are not only a symbol of female beauty and sexuality, they must be adapted to perform its primary function, ie the production of milk for the newborn child. That is why the structure of the mammary gland is a convex disk of 15-20 lobes arranged in a circle and facing the tip of the nipple. Each share represents a cancer with a special structure in the form of a large number of tiny sacs, alveoli, which are collected in the winding tube – milk ducts through which the child through breast milk will flow. Ducts of all glands and then come together and go out on top of the nipple in a 8-15 hole milk. And between the lobes, above and below them there is just enough loose connective and fatty tissue, the ratio of which varies greatly in different women. And the presence of each of them has its own meaning.
In structure the mammary gland – is a modified sweat gland, which produces breast milk. Each breast has a nipple in the center, surrounded by the areola.
Areola – a patch of skin whose color ranges from light brown to dark brown. This section contains the sebaceous glands. Two-thirds of the breast tissue are composed of glandular tissue, which is directly responsible for the production of milk. These glands open into the nipple 4 – 18 channels, each channel opens his hole. The network, which is formed ducts of the breast on the structure complicated, like the roots of the tree. It should be noted that the ducts of the mammary glands do not function reservoir, that is, milk is not stored in them.
The remaining breast tissue is composed of:
- connective tissue,
- adipose tissue
- Cowper's ligament.
The ratio of the glandular tissue to fat in non-breastfeeding women is 1:1, while in nursing – 2:1. Mammary glands are located on the pectoral muscles, starting from the 2nd rib and reaching the 6th rib.
The mammary gland receives blood supply from the following arteries:
- The internal thoracic,
- The lateral thoracic,
- Posterior intercostal arteries.
Venous outflow from the mammary gland is primarily through the axillary vein. In the area of the nipple of the breast contains a very large number of blood vessels and nerves. Nipples can respond to sexual stimuli, as well as in the cold.
75% of lymph drainage from breast cancer is on the same side. The rest of the lymph flowing in the lymph nodes near the breastbone, in the abdomen, as well as in the other lymphatic vessels of the breast.
The shape and size of the breast depends largely on its support – Cowper's ligament, and subject to the pectoral muscles. It should be noted that the shape of the breast does not depend on its internal structure and its functional status (lactation). Gives some support and the skin.
The primary function is the production of breast milk to feed the child. The formation of milk in the mammary gland is called lactation. Spherical shape of the breast prevents heat loss, as for the normal production of milk requires a suitable temperature. The other theory is that this form of breast appeared to prevent the strangulation of a child during feeding.
Production of the breast milk may also not associated with pregnancy. This condition is called galactorrhea. Galactorrhea may be a side effect of some drugs, but also occur during physical stress and endocrine disorders. In men, male lactation is called galactorrhea. Lactation is common even in infants, as with the blood through the placenta, they are the hormones prolactin and oxytocin.
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