Does Breast Reduction Affect the Associated Under and Back Armpit Fat?

Most women of my family genetically have wide shoulders and large breasts. Besides that, we have extra fat at the back of the arm pit which gets pronounced with bra strap. Does anyone know if the breast reduction can help that part as well?

Doctor Answers 5

Armpit fat treated with liposuction at the time of breast reduction.


These are really two different operations, but they are commonly done together.  This approach will help you a lot.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Lateral Chest Wall and Breast Reduction

The fat that you are describing sounds like it is located on the lateral chest wall, below your armpit.  This area is not adressed with a breast reduction, because it not considered part of the breast.  There are cosmetic/out of pocket options for this area that can be done simulteneously with the breast reduction but will not be covered by insurance.  I hope this helps you!

Kindest regards

Neil J. Zemmel

Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Excess fat on lateral chest wall and back and breast reduction.

The fat on the lateral chest wall and back are not addressed as part the usual breast reduction however it is possible to correct this at the same procedure.  Usually this can be done with liposuction but may require excision of skin excess also depending on the amount and tone of the skin in these areas.  A surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons could advise you on what would be the best option for your specific issues. 

Jeffrey Thaxton, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Axillary fat

A breast reduction is a general term describing a reduction in the volume of the breast. What is specifically done is different for each patient. If there are areas of excess volume (fat or breast tissue) in and around the axilla, that area can be reduce at the same time whether or not it is contiguous with or contains actual breast tissue. It is all appropriate in re-contouring the chest area.

Robin T.W Yuan, M.D. 

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Reduction and Treatment of “Extra Fat" Of Adjacent Areas?

Thank you for the question.

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. Exactly what is done during this procedure can be individualized to each patient's specific situation/needs/goals. For example, if a patient states that she wishes to treat breast tissue close to the axillary area ( this breast tissue is called the axillary tail of Spence),  then  the area can be treated during the breast reduction procedure.   Sometimes, excision of breast tissue in this area requires an additional incision to remove skin as well as  the “redundant” breast tissue involved. Other times, liposuction surgery may be effective. Again, much of what is recommended will depend on the individuals specific situation. Factors such as quality of skin elasticity play an important part as to what modality of treatment would work best.

 Furthermore, if the patient has localized adipose tissue of the upper back/chest area,  this may be treated at the same time as breast reduction.  Sometimes direct excision ( lipectomy) of the involved area is necessary to improve the contour of the involved area.  At other times, liposuction alone will suffice.

Of course, direct excision of any redundant skin/tissue will result in additional scarring;  the pros/cons of these types of the decisions should be considered carefully. Some patients will accept additional scarring as a trade-off for improvement in the contour of the axillary or back areas.

 Again, it will be important for every patient to communicate their concerns/goals carefully with their plastic surgeon prior to proceeding with surgery.

I hope this helps. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 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.