Mammary glands are the actual organs which produce and distribute milk inside the breast. Humans, like all mammals, give birth to live offspring and have the inherent ability to provide sustenance for their young through breast milk. All science aside, the ability to breastfeed a child is one of the most rewarding bonding times a mother can enjoy with her beautiful new baby.
Understanding how the mammary glands work is informative, interesting and very important for any woman who may be considering any form of cosmetic breast surgery.
Mammary Organs Explained
Each woman normally has one complex mammary organ in each breast. This complex mammary organ is actually broken down into smaller components, called simple mammary organs. Typically, each breast contains 10 to 20 simple mammary organs working together to form one complex mammary organ.
Each simple mammary organ is actually a modified sweat gland composed of:
Alveoli are hollow spaces lined with specialized cells which produce and secrete milk.
Groups of alveoli are called lobules. A lobule is connected directly to the nipple via a passageway called a lactiferous duct.
A nipple will typically have 10 to 20 tiny openings around its perimeter, each leading back to a lobule.
Mammary Gland Hormones
The mammary organs do not normally produce milk. They are only activated by certain hormones, which are released by the body during the latter stages of pregnancy and during the first part of the newborn infant’s life.
Lactation is the name for the process of producing milk in the breast. Lactation can be controlled artificially, to begin or end, using hormone therapy.
Make sure to discuss this option with your doctor if you are having lactation-related issues. Do not forget to ask about any potential side effects of this hormonal therapy before making your decision.
Mammary Glands and Cosmetic Surgery
Any surgery which cuts into the breast has the potential of damaging or disturbing the mammary organs. This is especially true of surgical procedures which utilize incisions around the nipple, called periareolar surgical wounds.
Obviously, a good surgeon will inform their patient of any risks before surgery and do their best to prevent any unwanted damage from occurring.
Breast augmentation, especially when using a periareolar incision, is also a risk factor.
Any surgery on the nipple can affect the ability to breastfeed successfully.
Enhancement of Mammary Glands
The human breast is a wondrous organ with many diversified uses. Women are understandably attached to their breasts and want them to look, feel and function optimally.
Cosmetic surgery can definitely help to create an incredible look and feel for women with aesthetic breast issues. However, sometimes this aesthetic improvement comes at the cost of a reduction in breastfeeding functionality.
Most surgeries can be completed without affecting the lactation ability of the breast, but it is still advisable to remember and consider the possible risks.
Even if you are not thinking about breastfeeding now, you might be sorry to have lost the ability in the future.
Talk to your doctor about how your proposed surgery might affect your mammary organs, prior to agreeing to undergo any procedure.