Polythelia

September 14, 2005
Robert P. Blereau, MD

These are the breasts of a healthy 35-year-old woman as seen during a postpartum examination following delivery of twins. She had two supernumerary nipples on the right-one above and one below the normal nipple-and one supernumerary nipple on the left, superior to the normal nipple.

These are the breasts of a healthy 35-year-old woman as seen during a postpartum examination following delivery of twins. She had two supernumerary nipples on the right-one above and one below the normal nipple-and one supernumerary nipple on the left, superior to the normal nipple.

During her pregnancy, both breasts were engorged and the normal nipples leaked milk. Milk also came from the right inferior supernumerary nipple around which separate breast tissue developed, indicating polymastia only at this location. No other nipples were evident and no other breast tissue developed during pregnancy.

Robert P. Blereau, MD of Morgan City, La, writes that polymastia and polythelia develop along “milk lines” from the groin to the axilla and may be associated with abnormalities of the urinary and cardiovascular systems. Usually no treatment is necessary, but if the patient is symptomatic, surgical excision is required.

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