General or Local Anesthesia for Axillary Breast Tissue Removal?

I have axillary breast tissue in both armpits that I want to have removed. If surgery would be the only option, would it have to be done under general anesthesia, or could a local be used?

Doctor Answers (11)

Local anesthesia a good option for many procedures


I have performed anterior axillary bra roll excision in the office under local anesthesia with nice success. I have also done the same procedure under general anesthesia in the OR with nice success.  The best option for you will depend on the amount of tissue to be removed, the location of that tissue, your comfort level with being awake during a procedure, and your surgeon's comfort level.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

General Anesthesia vs Local for Brachioplasty


It really depends how big this is and what your threshold is.  I do prefer general anesthesia because it is safe and more comfortable both for the patient and the surgeon.  General anesthesia is safe as long as you are healthy and young.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

In Most Cases, Breast Tissue Removal Done Under General Anesthesia


                  It’s not unusual for patients with axillary breast tissue to request surgical excision. This procedure can be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The size, location, patient preference, surgeon preference and health history are all important considerations when choosing anesthesia methods. In most cases, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, but in selected cases can be performed under local anesthesia. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

You might also like...

Axillary Breast Tissue Removal?


Thank you for the question.

Usually I suggest that the procedure be done under general anesthesia  mainly for patient comfort. If the area involvement is smaller then it can be done under local and it's easier.  Patient's preference is also a factor.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

Anesthesia options for axillary breast tissue removal

Anesthesia options ranging from local to intravenous sedation to general may be used for removal of ectopic breast tissue. The degree of anesthesia should be proportional to the amount of tissue to be resected and your own comfort level. Definitely ask your plastic surgeon about the appropriate alternatives and share your concerns.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Axillary breast tissue


Having an excision of axillary breast tissue can be done either with local or general. I think that patients are more comfortable having general.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Removal of axillary tissue


This tissue can be removed by under either local or general anesthesia. Another option would be sedation anesthesia where you would get a little "twilight" anesthesia without the breathing tube and then your surgeon could inject the local anesthesia. This way, you wouldn't be aware of the injections, and when you wake up a little you're axillae will be numb. Good options all around, and good luck!

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Local not the best


It really depends on how much tissue there is to remove.  If you have a significant amount, and even if you don't, general would be much more comfortable for you.  If you have a small area and you want local, get sedation and be monitored.  Safety is the first concern always.

Scott E. Kasden, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Excision of axillary tissue may be performed under either general or local anesthesia


This is a question that is ideally answered by your plastic surgeon.  In some cases tumescent anesthesia, which is an infiltration of a dilute amount of local anesthesia, maybe used.  If the area is particularly large then a general anesthetic may be best. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Type of anesthesia used for any procedure should be discussed with your doctor


As part of your preoperative consultation you should discuss with your doctor what type of anesthesia would be best for you. In general small and short procedures can be done under local anesthesia while longer procedures require more anesthesia. That said, however, there is a huge range of anesthetic options.

Sometimes, some sedation is given only for the time that the local anesthetic is being injected, sometimes the patient is completely asleep and on a respirator for the operation. The decision as to what is best for you depends on the type of procedure, any other medical conditions you might have as well as your personal wishes .

The decision is between you, your surgeon, and your anesthesiologist.

Talk to your doctor!

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.