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 15

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 42 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 77 reviews

General anesthesia versus IV sedation

Thank you for your question. Both types of anesthesia can provide a safe and comfortable platform for axillary tissue removal surgery. It is more important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and the surgical plan as this is ultimately what you will be remembering after the procedure.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Anesthesia choices for axillary breast tissue removal

There are many anesthesia options for removing excess axillary breast tissue. If the involved area is limited and if the patient tolerates local anesthesia injections the procedure can be completed under local anesthesia alone. More extensive procedures would require sedation or general anesthesia to allow the patient to be comfortable and the surgeon to safely remove the excess tissue. If you do not have significant health issues the risks of general anesthesia are minimal and easily managed. These procedures are most often completed as a surgical outpatient. Discuss any concerns with your plastic surgeon.

Andrew Goldberg, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Axillary breast tissue removal

I perform axillary breast tissue removal under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the case.  Many of these patients also undergo liposuction of other areas at the same time.  For those patients, general anesthesia may be the better option. Local anesthesia if fine for isolated axillary treatments.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

General or local anesthesia for axillary breast tissue removal?

Axillary breast tissue removal with light sedation is an excellent alternative to general anesthesia.  This can be performed in a certified office OR or outpatient facility. Using local anesthesia alone may cause you discomfort, so the addition of sedation is recommended.  Also, if the tissue is axillary breast tissue, make sure that your physician sends the tissue for pathological evaluation.  All breast issue should be evaluated when removed to check for occult breast cancer ( although rare).

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

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 1,485 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, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.