What Can I Do About my Armpit Fat? (photo)

I've struggled to get rid of it through diet and exercise without any luck. I figured it was badly distributed fat all these years, but now I'm hearing it could actually be migrated breast tissue from wearing the wrong bra size. Well, either way it's an eyesore. Whether it's fat or tissue, what can I do about it? Maybe lipo? Or excision? Thanks in advance for your help.

Doctor Answers 22

Arm Pit Fat

Believe it or not, many, many women have issues with arm pit fat that is shown in the photo you supplied.  One of the names for it in medicine is the anterior axillary roll, but bottom line for most women, is that it is arm pit fat.  Very often, the skin is very thin and very loose in this area so if the skin is okay, and there is a modest amount of arm pit fat, liposuction alone can take care of this. 

However, if there is a very large collection, or the skin is particularly weak, it can be directly, surgically resected with a small incision under the arm, removing the excess skin and fat and closing it with a small scar.  This makes lots of women very, very happy.

So, consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, who will give you advice as to how to best handle this problem.

Englewood Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Armpit fat is really breast tissue and needs excision.

You appear to have what is known as an axillary breast.  As an embryo, everyone has a " breast line" which runs from the armpit, through where the normal breast is and down as low as the groin.  Breast tissue can develop anywhere along this line.  It is relatively common to have it develop in  the armpit area.  As it is partially breast tissue and fiberous, it is hard to remove it with liposuction alone and resection is usually needed.  The trade off is a small scar which should be well hidden.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

What Can I Do About my Armpit Fat?

Thank you for the question and pictures.
It would behoove you to be examined in person by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. This examination will be critical in determining the best course of action.
For example, if the area  consists of “fat” then liposuction may be an option depending on the skin elasticity overlying the area).  If the skin elasticity is not sufficient then direct excision of skin and underlying adipose tissue may be necessary.
If the area of concern, on the other hand, consists of breast ( axillary tail of Spence)  that liposuction  will likely not be effective and direct excision of the breast tissue and overlying skin will likely be necessary to achieve the desired results.
Again, examination by well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon may be very helpful.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

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Armpit (Axiilla) Fat Liposculpting

The fat that is in a patient's armpit is very common and it's appearance and amount increase with both age and also with weight gain.  It can usually be easily addressed with liposuction and/or liposculpting.  For women it can aid in the appearance of the breast and even make the breast appear larger after its removal.  I liposuction/liposculpt this area on almost every abdomen that I operate on, as it makes the appearance of the whole abdominal result look better and more thorough.  There is also sometime a little fat in the upper outer breast area as well.  This area also can often be improved during the same time as the armpit (axilla) procedure.

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Liposuction can help

Exercise and a healthy diet probably won't be effective in improving this area as much as you'd like. Liposuction can help smooth down this area. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
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What Can I Do About my Armpit Fat?Answr:

My private scrub tech Sheila calls them "arm pit shrimps" cause they look like little shrimps taped under the arms..hmmm..But I understand what doctors are telling you about it being breast tissue and I'm sure that's is correct. However I have had really good luck treating this area with just liposuction. A lot of breast tissue is fat and some doctors routinely reduce breast size using just liposuction so why not here!!! Again, I have seen great improvement and women really seem happy...

John J. Corey, MD
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Liposuction Can Remove This Fat

Thank you for your question. Most likely, it is not migrated breast tissue and is just a pad of stubborn fat. I can and do perform liposuction in this area, and it is a somewhat frequent occurrence in patients who are thin but cannot eliminate this particular pad of fat.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
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Options for Armpit Fat

You could be a candidate for liposuction or a nonsurgical fat reduction procedure such as coolsculpting for the area. Consult an experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeon to understand your options. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
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Armpit fat treatments

What most people call armpit fat may be fat or fat and some breast tissue. Many doctors are fully capable of examining this area and if there is a concern, then further testing such as ultrasound can be done to make sure what we are dealing with.
Generally speaking, fat can be removed with liposuction and create a beautiful contours and appearance. If there us a significant breast tissue, that may bee surgical excision.
I hope that helps and best regards, Dr. Sapijaszko

Mariusz Sapijaszko, MD, FRCPC
Edmonton Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Outer Breast Fat Can Do Well With Lipo

Liposuction can have excellent results in this area.  The tissues mold well and ultrasonic liposuction is not usually required.  For patients over fifty, I use Smart-Lipo for skin tightening.These annoying "chubettes" can be helped.  An exam by a plastic surgeon will help you with this area to make sure there is no underlying accessory breast tissue.  There usually is not.
Good luck.

Keith Denkler, MD
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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.