Blood Supply and Lymphatics

The arteries that supply the breast are derived from the thoracic branches of the axillary artery, the internal thoracic (internal mammary) artery, and anterior intercostal arteries. Branches of the vessels pass primarily along the path of the alveolar ducts as they reach capillary beds surrounding the alveoli. Veins basically follow the path of the arteries as they return to the axillary and internal thoracic veins.

Lymphatic capillaries are located in the connective tissue surrounding the alveoli. The larger lymphatic vessels drain into axillary, supraclavicular, or parasternal lymph nodes.

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