Polymastia is characterized by the atypical growth of additional full or partial breasts anywhere on the anatomy. The condition can affect men and women, but is far more common in females. Other common names for this breast abnormality include accessory breasts, supernumerary breasts and mammae erraticae.
This essay details supernumerary breast formation, the emotional consequences of additional breasts and how the condition can be successfully treated using plastic surgery.
Accessory Breast Placement
Supernumerary breasts most often grow on the natural anatomical milk lines, which are also called mammary lines or Hughes lines. These structures run between the underarm and the groin on each side of the frontal body.
Sometimes, accessory breasts can grow elsewhere on the body and cases have been recorded throughout history detailing very unusual breast placements on both men and women.
Usually these highly irregular anatomical placements are referred to by the name mammae erraticae.
Each case of supernumerary breast tissue is unique. The most common profile is a secondary breast or set of breasts, without nipples, directly below the existing normal fully formed breasts. However, countless variations can and do occur.
Extra mammaries can exist virtually anywhere on the anatomy and can vary from simple puffy pouches of skin to fully formed and functioning glandular breast mounds.
A full accessory breast will feature a nipple and areola, which will have sensitivity and firming response just like any typical breast.
A minority of supernumerary breasts also contain complete glandular structures and will even produce milk, allowing an additional outlet for breastfeeding.
Most cases of accessory breasts do not require any special treatment, but can be removed due to aesthetic reasons. Fully formed extra breasts are subject to the same health risks as any other breast, including cancer and other disease.
For individuals who suffer with troublesome emotional issues from their extra breast tissue, cosmetic surgery is a good option. Removal of the additional breast can be done through various means, including liposuction and surgical breast reduction.
The particular procedure used will depend greatly on the extent and location of the condition. For further information on ridding yourself of troubling accessory nipple or breast tissue, consult a qualified plastic surgeon to learn more about the best option for your particular case.
This condition might go completely unnoticed in some individuals. Many people who have one or more of these fleshy lumps, simply assume it is a cyst or fatty deposit. This is especially true if the condition is in a location which is not normally associated with the breast.
Fully formed breasts will be easy to recognize and are commonly removed surgically, since their appearance is extremely unusual and often disturbing to the affected individual. This is even more true if the patient is male.
Removal of accessory breasts can be easy for some patients and complicated for others. Only your surgeon will know the best method of achieving complete mammary removal in the least invasive and most aesthetic way possible.
Remember to remove all internal glandular tissue, along with any surface features, to prevent potential problems and health issues in the future.
If you are one of many women who enjoy your extra breasts, fully formed or not, consider yourself blessed by this unique anatomical feature.