Montgomery glands

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 20 Sep 2018

Montgomery glands are large sebaceous glands in the breast, representing a transition between a mammary gland and a sweat gland.

Located within the nipple-areolar complex, Montgomery glands open onto the skin surface via protrusions on the skin known as Montgomery tubercles. They number between 4-25 on each side.

  • sebaceous gland
  • lactiferous duct: connecting underlying breast parenchyma to the sebaceous gland
  • lubrication of nipple-areolar complex by gland secretions
  • secretions act as olfactory stimulus for the baby to breastfeed

They are named after William Fetherstone Montgomery (1797-1859) 3, an Irish obstetrician who first described them in his 1837 in his book "An Exposition of the Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy" 3.

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