Pediatric Polymastia

Pediatric Polymastia

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Summary

Pediatric polymastia occurs when a child is born with an extra breast or additional breast tissue.

Expanded overview

Polymastia, or accessory breasts, is a rare, congenital (present at birth) condition in which a child is born with an additional breast or breast tissue. The additional breast may or may not have a nipple and areola (ring around the nipple). Polymastia affects both females and males and usually occurs along the milk line (area of the body that extends from the armpit, down the front of the breast and to the groin). Additional breast tissue can also be found in the back, face or thigh.

Causes

Polymastia typically occurs in the womb during the development. During normal development, breast tissue will develop along the milk line, and additional tissue will disintegrate and be absorbed into the body. Polymastia occurs when the additional tissue doesn’t disintegrate before birth. This condition can be inherited and run in families.

Symptoms

The main sign of polymastia is an additional breast or breast tissue. Symptoms affect the additional breast and typically become worse during puberty, menstruation or pregnancy. These include:

  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumors

Rare symptoms

  • Abscesses (a pus pocket)
  • Cysts (fluid or gas pockets)
  • Mastitis (infection)

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