Attitudes about women’s breasts have always been influenced by fashion trends. In the twenties, women bound their breasts; in the forties, more volume was desirable; then, in the sixties, a less restricted look was popular. Contemporary styles reflect a trend toward fuller, yet natural-looking lines. However, regardless of your breast size, all healthy breasts have the same basic anatomy. The anatomy of the female breast is complex, having fat, connective tissue, ducts, lobes, lobules and lymph nodes.

When you’re considering breast augmentation, it helps to know your breast anatomy so you can make informed choices with your surgeon’s guidance. Breast tissue is a mass of connective, fatty and glandular tissue. It is made up of:

  • Fat and connective tissue: Form a protective padding for the milk-producing glands and gives the breasts its shape and volume
  • Lobules: Glands produce milk during lactation
  • Ducts: Tiny tubes carry the milk to the nipple
  • Nipple: Forms an opening for the milk to flow out
  • Areola: Pigmented tissue that surrounds each nipple. Contains glands that releases moisture and acts as a lubricant during breastfeeding
  • Lymph nodes: Tiny tubes, containing lymph fluid, help fight infections
  • Pectoral or chest muscle: Lie under the breasts and provide support to the breasts
  • Ligaments: Run from the skin and attach to the muscles, supporting the breasts
  • Rib cage: Lie under the breasts and houses vital organs like the heart and lungs
  • Inframammary fold: Crease where the chest wall meets the breast

Breasts develop at different stages of a woman’s life – they begin to grow with puberty, develop milk glands during pregnancy, and lose their elasticity and begin to sag with age. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone control the growth and development of the breasts across a woman’s life. The shape and size of both the breasts vary – one of the breasts may be slightly smaller or bigger, higher or lower, or of a different shape from the other.

  • Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Society Plastic Surgeons
  • Allergan
  • MENTOR Make Life more beautiful
  • ROYAL Australian College Of Surgeons