The female breast is far more than an organ for breastfeeding infants. The breast stands for sensuality and femininity. It conveys feelings of pleasure and is always at the centre of social discussions, important historical events and the performing arts. Certain characteristics of a breast are particularly attractive: a balanced and equal height ratio between the upper and lower half of the breast and a breast that protrudes when viewed from the side.

In the unborn child in the womb, the breasts develop already in the fifth to seventh week on both halves of the body along the so-called milk strip, which extends close to the armpit to the groin. The milk ridge then recedes to the mammary gland above the pectoral muscle at the level of the third to fifth rib. Under the influence of hormones, the growth of mammary gland tissue begins between the ages of nine and thirteen. Around the age of 17 to 18, the breast is fully grown.

Breast malformations lead to a high level of suffering and have a decisive impact on the quality of life. Those affected suffer from strong feelings of shame, excessive shyness and low sexual self-confidence. The willingness to engage in sports, join clubs or participate in school activities is impaired. Rejection by peers in the social media, including bullying, is not uncommon. An operation can significantly improve the shape and volume of a malformed breast and thus the effects on mental health.

Author's statement

Author: Stéphane Stahl, MD, PhD. There are no financial relationships with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries that could have influenced the above text. Any reproduction, even partial, is permitted for personal use only. All texts used on this website are protected by copyright.

 

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