Supernumerary nipples


Supernumerary nipples is the presence of extra nipples.


Extra nipples


Ask the patient when she first noticed the discharge, and determine its duration, extent, quantity, color, consistency, and smell, if any. Has she had other nipple and breast changes, such as pain, tenderness, itching, warmth, changes in contour, and lumps? If she reports a lump, question her about its onset, location, size, and consistency. Obtain a complete gynecologic and obstetric history, and determine her normal menstrual cycle and the date of her last period. Ask if she experiences breast swelling and tenderness, bloating, irritability, headaches, abdominal cramping, nausea, or diarrhea before or during menses. Note the number, date, and outcome of her pregnancies and, if she breast-fed, the approximate time of her last lactation. Also, check for risk factors of breast cancer — family history, previous or current malignancies, nulliparity or first pregnancy after age 30, early menarche, or late menopause. Start your physical examination by characterizing the discharge. If the discharge isn’t frank, try to elicit it. (See Eliciting nipple discharge.) Then examine the nipples and breasts with the patient in four different positions: sitting with her arms at her sides; with her arms overhead; with her hands pressing on her hips; and leaning forward so her breasts are suspended. Check for nipple deviation, flattening, retraction, redness, asymmetry, thickening, excoriation, erosion, or cracking. Inspect her breasts for asymmetry, irregular contours, dimpling, erythema, and peau d’orange. With the patient in a supine position, palpate the breasts and axillae for lumps, giving special attention to the areolae. Note the size, location, delineation, consistency, and mobility of any lump you find. Is the patient taking hormones (hormonal contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy)? Is the discharge spontaneous, or does it have to be expressed?


Counsel your patient to be aware of discharge characteristics—its consistency (thick or thinning), odor, origin in single or multiple ducts, and relation to the menstrual cycle. If the discharge becomes bloody, instruct the patient to seek medical evaluation. Instruct the patient to perform breast self-examinations and maintain appointments for breast examinations by a physician and mammograms as recommended.