Can implants make armpit fat less noticeable? Also, can the placement of the implant change the look of the arm crease? (photo)

my biggest concern about having a breast augmentation is the fat or breast tissue I have next to my armpit. I know it will never be smooth unless excised but I want to be 100% positive that the implant will make it look better or my doctor will lipo if it is fat.

Doctor Answers 9

Axillary Fat Pads

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5'9 20y.oBA,

All women have axillary fat pads and the volume of the fat pads also may reflect body fat levels. However, some thin women do appear to have excessive fat in the axillary fold region.  The photo of you does not seem to show excessive fat, but the shaped strapless bra you are wearing is compressing just below the fat pads and accentuating their bulge.  The photos you copied either show excessive axillary fat (beyond the average amount), or presence of ectopic axillary breast tissue that makes the area even more prominent, and can actually respond to hormone stimuli, e.g. pregnancy.  Position of breast bases on the chest wall also has a bearing, as low breast position leads to a longer transition from the axillary fat pad to the breast tissues, making the pads more distinct.  Higher positioning of the breast bases shows more blending of the axillary fats pad with the upper breast poles.  Placement of implants usually fills the transition area from axillary fat pad to breast, and makes those fat pads less noticeable, but again the starting point anatomy plays a significant role.  The slide show video that I linked below show before and after results of many patients with breast bases at various levels on the chest wall, and in each of the results the axillary fat pads become less apparent.  If the fat pads are excessive, liposuction can help, even with axillary breast tissue, which can be reduced with special cutting liposuction cannulas.  I hope that this helps.

Best wishes,    

Tom DeWire, MD, FACS    

Richmond, VA

Richmond Plastic Surgeon

Anterior Bra Roll Fat

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Thank you for your question.  Anterior bra roll fat can be liposuctioned before, during or after breast augmentation surgery.  Discuss this matter further with your surgeon. Best wishes

Axillary fullness and BA

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Axillary fullness can be from fatty tissue or actually breast tissue.  An implant may soften the appearance, but in certain circumstances I have found it helpful to utilize liposuction (either conventional tumescent or ultrasonic) to remove tissue and contour this area when performing breast augmentation. I perform this frequently for breast lifts and breast reduction as it works quite effectively.  Direct examination of this area would be helpful in defining a treatment plan.

Can implants make armpit fat less noticeable? Also, can the placement of the implant change the look of the arm crease?

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Yes, but the posted photo is so dark but I have been able to camouflage the axillary anterior tail with properly placed implants....

Implant Results

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This is difficult to answer without an in person exam. In general, implants give you more of what you already have. Any area that is asymmetric or misshapen can become more noticeable with an augment. Again, a consultation with a board certified surgeon would give you a more definite answer.

The tail of the breast can extend to the axilla and consists of true breast tissue

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Anatomically the normal breast can extend toward and even into the armpit resulting in what is referred to as the axillary tail of the breast or the axillary tail of Spence. It is real breast tissue and depending on your age may or may not be amenable to reduction via liposuction.  Just as breasts get larger during pregnancy, so too can the axillary tail of the breast fluctuate in size potentially along with the main breast.  So getting to your question specifically, the answer is "maybe" in terms of whether the placement of the implants changes the look of the tail.  It is an unreliable "maybe" also because with age and or pregnancy, the tail can end of getting larger or it may shrink in time.

Elliot Lach, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Upper chest fatty tissue

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Implants will not really change the appearance of the fatty appearance by the breast folds.  You will likely need liposuction to soften it.

Can implants make armpit fat less noticeable? Also, can the placement of the implant change the look of the arm crease?

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In most cases, breast implants won't make armpit fat less noticeable, as your before and after photos show.  If there is a significant pocket of anterior armpit fat, then one should consider liposuction of the area, along with the augmentation.  If there is a crease below this fat pad a breast augmentation may soften or resolve this crease, depending on the location of the crease and the size and shape of implant used.  Be certain to discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Armpit tissue and breast augmentation

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I have had many patients with your concerns.  There are several options for treatment of this problem in my experience. Many patients will do well with implants alone, provided the dimensions of the implants are appropriate. Others benefit from liposuction at the time of breast augmentation.  The best way to learn what is right for you is with a consultation with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Your photo suggests that the first option may work for you, but it is impossible to know without an examination. 

Mark P. Solomon, MD
Philadelphia Plastic 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.