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What is the Difference Between Axillary Fat and Axillary Breast Tissue? (photo)

When I was pregnant with my 1st child ('99-'00), I developed what looks like bulges that hang out on top of my bra front to back. I have tried to research, but it just seems so confusing! I thought it was fat, so I signed up at a gym and worked out with a trainer for about a year and saw NO improvement in this area. How do I know if this is fat or breast tissue and what type of procedure is best to correct this problem?

Doctor Answers (5)

Axillary Fat and Breast Tissue?

+1

Thank you for the question and pictures.

It is likely that the tissue that is of concern to you is comprised of both adipose tissue and breast tissue. I would suggest that you be careful about undergoing liposuction surgery only;  you will be left with loose skin and an unsatisfactory cosmetic result.

I would suggest that you continue to work towards your long-term stable weight,  seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons, and most likely undergo a procedure that involves liposuction/excision of redundant skin and tissue.

Best wishes.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 781 reviews

Your excess tissue would benefit from removal regardless of its source

+1

Your pictures show excess volume (most likely fat, possibly some breast tissue), and excess skin.  The excess volume could be liposuctioned, but the excess skin can be removed by only excision.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Axillary fat and axillary breast tissue

+1

Puffy axillas are often caused by excess fat, excess breast tissue or both.  In patients who are overweight, it is likely that at significant portion of the tissue is fat.  On physical exam, the breast tissue is firmer than fat.  Fat may be removed with liposuction.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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Axillary breast tissue is not uncommon

+1

We have seen very many with axillary breast tissue, though usually confined to the anterior breast fold under the arm, and not to the back. Given your history you probably have axillary breast tissue, though a large component is indeed fat which has formed a bit of a fold over. Liposuction can help, though the skin excess will be a problem in not removed.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Treatment for Axillary Fat and Axillary breast tissue

+1

It this area in particular became much larger during the latter partof pregnancy than it contains ectopic (not usual location) breast  tissue. However if you did not have that history than it could be either fat or ectopic breast tissue. In reality, it doesn't make any difference as the Treatment for Axillary Fat and Axillary breast tissue is the same - Liposuction. 

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 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.