Lipoma underarm for 13 yrs that gets painful each time i get premenstrual symptoms. Should I be worried? (photo)

I am 26 and have had a lipoma under my arm since I was 13years old. I have had a doctor check it out and after a physical examination she said it was harmless. The problem is whenever I approach my period and I get premenstrual symptoms, it also swells and becomes painful. Should I be worried?

Doctor Answers 3

Breast tissue vs. Lipoma

The mass may represent breast tissue that is responsive to perimenopausal hormones. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Lipoma underarm for 13 years that gets painful each time I get premenstrual symptoms.

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph.  If this mass is indeed a lipoma a small surgical procedure can be done to remove it in its entirety without further issues with pain or growth.  That said, based on its location and your premenstrual symptoms I would rather have you see your ob/gyn for an in-person evaluation.  It seems more likely that this mass is accessory breast tissue and should be appropriately evaluated before surgical removal.  Hope this helps. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Underarm lipoma

Although you may have a lipoma under your arm, lipomas do not change size or respond to menstrual cycles. More likely you have ectopic breast tissue (breast tissue slightly beyond the usual boundary of the breast) that becomes more tender or larger with hormone changes. This is not harmful, but if it is bothersome to you either because it hurts or because prevents you from wearing sleeveless clothes, see a doctor and discuss removal of the tissue through a cosmetically favorable armpit incision or liposuction.

Leslie Memsic, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills General Surgeon

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.