Axillary Breast Tissue Removal - Omaha, NE

About two years ago, I had noticed a large lump...

About two years ago, I had noticed a large lump in my armpit. I had brought it to the attention of my trusted nurse practitioner and after a mammogram and an ultra sound, I had been assured that there was no reason to be alarmed with this lump – it did not pose a risk to my health. It was however, a source of constant aggravation. It rubbed on my bra strap, it was a noticeable bump if I wore a sleeveless shirt and it felt as though I had a golf ball lodged in my armpit. It was also a source of anxiety – no matter how many times someone tells you not to worry. If you are a woman, and you have a lump in your armpit, you worry.
After a year, I consulted with a local general surgeon about having the lump removed, but he was uncomfortable performing the procedure and recommended that I have a surgeon with more experience in surgeries involving breast tissue. During my next annual exam, I asked my nurse practitioner for a recommendation and she recommended Dr. Bruneteau. I met with him, we discussed the procedure and he worked with my insurance company to get approval for the procedure, so the cost would be covered by insurance. It took a few weeks for the approval to be processed and when his office called with news of the approval, we scheduled the procedure for December 31, 2013.
Pre-op visit
I had an appointment with a physician’s assistant to go over pre-op instructions. They talked me through what I would need to do to prepare for the surgery and what I could expect for my recovery. I was instructed to buy a special wash to use the day before and the day of surgery. I was also instructed to purchase compression hose to wear on the day of surgery and on the days following surgery. Because I knew nausea would be a problem, I was given a prescription for a patch to wear on the day of surgery as well.
Day of Surgery (Tuesday, December 31)
Surgery was scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and I was asked to arrive at the office at 11:00 a.m. Because I would be undergoing general anesthesia, no food or water was allowed on the day of surgery. A nurse helped get me situated and monitored me while we waited for my turn in the surgery queue. I met briefly with the anesthesiologist and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in the surgi-suite area. I was given instructions for the care of the incision site and the drain. Because we are not from Omaha, we needed to stay at a hotel overnight so we could have a follow-up visit the next morning. I was tired following the surgery, but not in any pain. The doctor had removed tissue about the size of a golfball and the incision was approximately 2 ½ inches long. I had an antibiotic to take and pain medication. We also had to record the amount of fluid that was captured in the drain. I was really pleased with how well I felt – I was able to sit on a pool chair and watch my kids swim in the pool the night of surgery without any trouble. I slept well (Tylenol with codeine makes me drowsy). We had our follow-up appointment the next day and all went well. We went home without any trouble.

First week following surgery
I felt good – there was only minor incisional pain. I had taken the rest of the week off of work to recover from the surgery, but I was able to participate in a conference call two days after surgery without any trouble. (I opted to delay taking my pain medication that morning so I could focus on the meeting). After two days the nausea patch wore off and the Tylenol with codeine made me nauseous – I continued to take it one more day, but on Friday, I tried switching to ibuprofen and it was enough to manage the pain. I’ll be honest – the drain was the biggest drawback to the procedure, but luckily it was winter and I could hide the drain beneath sweaters when I went back to work. It also meant no showers until it was removed – and I missed my morning showers. I also missed my daily workouts, but after five days, I felt well enough to start walking so I was able to walk 2 – 3 miles a day until my follow up appointment.
One Week Post-Op
After about a week, I had a follow-up appointment. Because my drainage was pretty minimal, they were able to remove the drain (Hooray!). I didn’t know what to expect and I remember thinking “Wow – that smarts”. I got approval to resume working out on my elliptical machine. Lifting weights would have to wait until later.
Two weeks Post-Op
Another follow-up visit. The stitches on the ends of the incision were removed and the doctor recommended that I start to massage the incision scar with lotion or mederma. I had mederma on hand, so I have been using that. I had been itching to resume my Body Pump class and I was given approval to ease back into it at the four-week post-op mark. I followed his advice and eased into it and was able to work my way back into my normal weight load at the six-week post op mark.

All in all – I am very glad I had the procedure. The recovery was really smooth and uneventful and the results were worth it. The scar is much less noticeable than that bump and I don’t have to worry about that lump anymore.


Does real self take Medicaid I have hundreds of lipomas and it's ruining my life always in pain I'm a 37 old male and hurt constantly please help
  • Reply
Hi Mike,

RealSelf is forum to discussion cosmetic treatments and conditions. We don't provide treatments (or financing) but you can use the Doctor Finder to locate providers in your area.

I hope this helps,
Hi there, welcome and thanks so much for sharing your experience with us.

I'm glad everything went well and you seemed to have a smooth recovery. We'd love to see a before/after photo, if you have any you feel comfortable sharing.
  • Reply
Omaha Plastic Surgeon

I was really pleased with Dr. Bruneteau, not only is he a very capable surgeon, but he was genuinely interested in my healthcare concerns. His patience in meeting me and discussing this process was much appreciated. I never felt rushed or that my questions where silly. I was very pleased with the process and the results.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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