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Areola definition


Updated November 14, 2007

female breast anatomy

Female breast anatomy

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia
Definition: the darker skin of the breast which is around the nipple in a circular area.

The reason for the darker color is that the ducts of the mammary glands are located under it. Between 15-20 small openings are located in the areola, around the nipple, from which milk is released during breastfeeding.
Pronunciation: ah-ree-o-lah
Alternate Spellings: aureola
Common Misspellings: ariola
During a lumpectomy for ductal carcinoma in situ, a surgeon may make the incision along the curved edge of the areola, because the scar can easily be hidden there when the patient has healed after surgery.
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