Anatomy of the Breast

The Complexity of the Breast

Although the breast is mostly comprised of fat and connective tissue (stromata), it is a complicated organ consisting blood vessels, milk ducts, lymph nodes, lobes and lobules.

The size and volume of the breast is mostly determined by the amount of fat and connective tissue located on the outer portion of the breast as seen in the diagram below; shape is determined by skin laxity. The milk producing structure of the breast is located within the area of the glands, and extends out toward the nipple. Lobules, located closer to the base of the breast, are small sacks containing breast milk. Aveolis extend out of each lobule to transport milk toward the areola. There the aveolis join together into larger ducts where the breast milk is sent to the nipple. The size of the milk producing structure is approximately the same size in all women, no matter the size of their breast.

Oxygen and nutrients travel throughout the internal portion of the breast to the tissue through capillaries and arteries. Lymph ducts located on the outer, lower part of the breast are responsible for fighting infections, while lymph nodes (found under the armpit and behind the breast bone) are responsible for draining harmful substances from the body.

Placement of the Implant Under the Muscle

Generally our plastic surgeons place breast implants under the muscle when performing a breast augmentation, informally known as a "boob job". This provides patients with several benefits including:

  • A more natural look and feel
  • A minimized risk of "bottoming out"
  • A reduced instance of capsular contracture


Protecting the Breast Structures During Breast Augmentation

Several incision techniques for breast augmentation are available for your surgery, including:

  • The Areolar Technique – “Through the Nipple”
  • The Inframmary Technique – “Under the Fold”
  • The Transaxillary Technique – “Through the Armpit”
  • The Transumbilical Technique – “Through the Belly Button”

A common concern amongst patients is disturbance or damage of the nerve and milk ducts, particularly for the areolar technique. When performed by a qualified surgeon, the risk of this complication is extremely low - no matter the incision technique used to perform the surgery.

The breast itself has no muscle tissue. The muscle lies underneath the breast tissue, over top of the rib cage. When breast enhancement surgery is performed, the implant can be placed over the muscle (subglandular) or under the muscle (submuscular). It can also be placed using an advanced half over half under technique. Since the implant is placed beneath the structure of the breast, it will not disturb the function of the breast.

A minimally invasive cautery device and a scalpel are used to separate the breast tissue to reach the area where the pocket for the implant will be formed. No incisions will be made through the breast duct area. The path used to created the pocket for the implant is ALWAYS through the breast tissue.

Our 3-D Breast Augmentation presentation is a helpful tool to help you better visualize and understand breast augmentation and the various techniques utilized for this procedure.

For additional questions about breast anatomy and breast augmentation, please contact us at 866-372-3288.

The plastic surgeons at California Surgical Institute's Beverly Hills, Upland, Brea and Riverside Clinics (respectively our Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside County locations) offer Complimentary Consultations to answer any questions you may have. To schedule your appointment, please call 866-372-3288 or submit the form at the top of the page.

California Surgical Institute

9025 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 411, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Brea: 910 E. Birch St, Suite 350, Brea, CA 92821

Upland: 930 W. Foothill Blvd. Upland, CA 91786

Riverside: 7120 Indiana Ave. Riverside, CA, 92506

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