[Breast abnormalities: a retrospective study of 208 patients]

Chir Ital. 2007 Jul-Aug;59(4):499-506.
[Article in Italian]


Ectopic breast tissue occurs in 0.4-6% of the general population. Usually, these tissues develop along the embryonic milk line but other sites are reported in the literature. Accessory breasts are commonly axillary and may undergo hormonal changes. Some pathologies of normally positioned breasts can occur in ectopic breast tissue, including carcinoma, and therefore require traditional senological flow-charts and imaging strategies. Supernumerary nipples are generally asymptomatic but may sometimes be associated with urological malformations. In our 10-year experience, 208 patients were observed (138 polythelia and 70 polymastia) and 159 surgical procedures were performed, 97 for supernumerary nipple excision and 67 for accessory breast ablation. Five neoplastic lesions and 25 fibrocystic mastopathies were detected in specimens; normal nipple or breast tissue was found in 129. In view of the potentially malignant transformation of accessory breasts, thorough physician evaluation is needed. Surgery is currently suggested in cases of suspected malignancy, in symptomatic cases and for cosmetic problems.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast / abnormalities*
  • Breast / surgery*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery
  • Choristoma
  • Female
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / pathology
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastectomy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Nipples / abnormalities
  • Nipples / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome