Which pediatric breast disorders are congenital?

Updated: May 03, 2021
  • Author: Harsh Grewal, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Robert K Minkes, MD, PhD  more...
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Athelia (ie, absence of nipples) and amastia (ie, absence of breast tissue) may occur bilaterally or unilaterally. This is a rare condition and results when the mammary ridges fail to develop or completely disappear. Athelia or amastia is sometimes associated with Poland syndrome (ie, absent chest wall muscles, absence of ribs 2-5, deformities of the hands or vertebrae). Amastia in girls can be treated with augmentation mammoplasty.

An extra breast (ie, polymastia) or extra nipple (ie, polythelia) occurs in approximately 1% of the population. It may be an inheritable condition. [4] Supernumerary nipples are slightly more common in males than in females. Extra breasts or nipples most commonly occur along the milk line, usually just underneath the normally located breasts or nipples; however, they have also been noted in ectopic sites such as the back, the vulvar area, and the buttock.

Accessory or ectopic breast tissue responds to hormonal stimulation and may cause discomfort during menstrual cycles. These accessory tissues have been reported to undergo malignant transformation and should be removed. [5]

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