Axillary Breast Tissue and Removal? (photo)

As you can see from my photo, I am not overweight, nor do I have large breasts; yet I have this odd bulge that sticks out (one side is larger than the other). I believe it is axillary breast tissue and would like to have it removed. What is my best option and what kind of downtime would be involved with having surgery in this area? Thanks for the advice!

Doctor Answers 15

Excess of Accessory Axillary Breast Tissue

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Thank you for your question. Yes, from the picture you sent it is fairly certain that you have some excess or accessory breast tissue. This is a very common phenomenon, and most women don't even seek medical attention for it, as it mostly presumed to be fatty tissue. The treatment and is simple and effective. It involved direct excision of the excess glandular tissue, and oftentimes, along with excess skin. It will require, however, a linear scar that runs along the skin lines of the arm pit or axilla. It is usually a very well tolerated scar, but in different patients can always turn out differently. Be sure to consult with a Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and surely things will turn out for the best. Good luck and farewell. 

Axillary Breast Tissue and Removal?

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Thank you for the question and picture. You are correct in that this area of fullness tends to consist of mainly breast tissue. In my experience, it is best treated ( for most patients) with direct excision of the “excess” skin and breast tissue. Liposuction surgery alone will likely not be as effective and/or may leave you with continued excess/irregular skin.

Placement of the incision line in the hair bearing axillary area is one of the keys to success; keeping the resulting scar as hidden as possible is important to most patients.

I hope this helps.

Axillary Breast Tissue and Removal?

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I would have to differ with the consultant who says this is usually fat. When liposuction first came out in the early 80's we all tried to treat this problem that way. Virtually everyone found out it does not work, because it is true fibrous breast tissue. Liposuction works by basically tearing fat cells away and vaccuming them out of the body. The densely fibrous breast tissue does not tear away. Only the fat interspersed between the breast tissue is removed that way.The best and most thorough way to remove it is through a small incision, but that does leave a scar. With time it fades, but scars are forever. There is nothing wrong with trying liposuction, but I have found it to be a waste of the patient's time and money.

Most anterior axillae bulges are excess fat and lipo works great.

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Since most of the time the anterior axillary bulges are just fat, liposuction does great for flattening them down easily under local. Even if some of it is breast tissue, the aggressive cannulas brings it down just fine. Expect to pay roughly $2500 or more on special for lipo of these areas. There is minimal downtime and it is easy to  undergo. Sincerely,David Hansen,MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Liposuction vs direct excision of axillary breast tissue

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Thank you for the question and the photo.  There a re two main ways to reduce the presence of axillary breast tissue.  One way is to perform liposuction via a small incision (3-4 mm) the other is to remove the axillary breast tissue directly via a larger incision (4-5 cm).  There is not wrong or right answer, however, most patients who have chosen direct excision have been very satisfied.  It corrects the axillary breast tissue presence to it fullest and does so with a quicker recovery.  The only downside is an incision in your arm pit area near or overlying the breast tissue.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Axillaray breast tissue

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I would want to do a physical exam and determine how much of the extra tissue is axillary breast tissue and how much appears to be extra fat. Either way, the corrective surgery would not involve a lot of down time. You might be a little sore for a few days from liposuction or a combination of liposuction and excision through a small incision in your armpit.  In my experience Liposuction alone usually is all that is needed.  You might also be a candidate for non-surgical fat removal such as Coolsculpting if we can determine that there is quite a bit of fat vs. breast tissue to be removed.


Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction of the axillary area and excess breast tissue - Los Angeles

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This area of tissue is excellent for a mini liposuction procedure that can remove excess fat and breast tissue. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles


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axillary breast tissue vs. fatty protrusion? I would like to have a little bit more information on the history of this lump. the best treatment for excess breast tissue is excision. if that's not an option one can try liposuction but its not as satisfactory for breast tissue as it is for fatty protrusion.  

Axillary breast tissue

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Axillary breast tissue if it is glandular will usually swell with pregnancy and will change with the menstrual cycle.  Often excision is the best treatment.

Liposuction for axillary breast tissue or fat

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Liposuction usually works pretty well for this problem unless the patient's skin tone is poor and in that case, excision of the area is indicated. 

This area is notorious for taking a long time to soften up and shrink after liposuction.  I just saw a patient of mine I did three weeks ago and her liposuctioned area is still very firm and woody. It will likely take a few months to really soften up.  I always warn my patients about this and encourage them to massage the area as soon as it is comfortable to do so.

In cases of direct excision, the prolonged firmness is not an issue but of course there is a resultant scar.

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.