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Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 3236–3240 | Cite as

A Review of Anatomy, Physiology, and Benign Pathology of the Nipple

  • Kimberly Stone
  • Amanda WheelerEmail author
Breast Oncology

Abstract

The nipple and areola are pigmented areas of modified skin that connect with the underlying gland of the breast via ducts. The fairly common congenital anomalies of the nipple include inversion, clefts, and supernumerary nipples. The anatomy of the nipple areolar complex is discussed as a foundation to review anatomical variants, and the physiologic development of the nipple, including changes in puberty and pregnancy, as well as the basis of normal physiologic discharge, are addressed. Skin conditions affecting the nipple include eczema, which, while similar to eczema occurring elsewhere on the body, poses unique aspects in terms of diagnosis and treatment. This article concludes with discussion on the benign abnormalities that develop within the nipple, including intraductal papilloma and nipple adenoma.

Keywords

Atopic Dermatitis Nipple Nipple Areolar Complex Nipple Discharge Intraductal Papilloma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgment

Special thanks to Stefanie Jeffrey, MD, for her thoughtful edits, as well as Fred Dirbas, MD, and Irene Wapnir, MD, and to Barbara L. Smith, MD, PhD, for her permission to use Fig. 2, and her groundbreaking work on nipple anatomy.

Disclosures

Kimberly Stone and Amanda Wheeler have no disclosures to declare.

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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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