Breast reduction and Axillery Liposuction at the same time; what is the recovery? (Photo)

Hi, I am getting a breast reduction, and the doctor suggested Axillery liposuction at the same time ? I was wondering if this affects the recovery time ? I am 24 and a full time housekeeper and was wondering what the approxamite time off work I will need ? What sort of pain medication will I get after the surgery ? And how far back would the liposuction go ? All the way to my back or would it stop at the end under my armpit ? Thank you :)

Doctor Answers 7

Axillary liposuction with breast reduction.

Thanks for the photos.  I often do some liposuction  of the axillary area at the same time as breast reduction to assure a smooth contour.  How far back the liposuction goes depends on your anatomy and what you are expecting from the surgery.  If the liposuction goes onto your back, that would likely require position changes in the OR.  I do not think that liposuction is going to add any time to your recovery.  With your type of employment, I would recommend about a month off of work unless your employer is able to provide you with light duty. 


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Breast reduction and Axillery Liposuction at the same time; what is the recovery? (Photo)

Generally speaking recovery from breast reduction is quite fast with very little pain.  Most patients are able to return to their day to day activities and work within 3-5 days.  Of course for the type of work you do you may need a couple more days.  However, axillary liposuction does not add to your discomfort and recovery time.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast Reduction Recovery

The incisions are covered with light dressings, and the breasts may be placed in a bra. The bra holds the breasts symmetrically during initial healing. Axillary liposuction should not prolong your recovery for most patients.
Initial discomfort subsides daily and is controlled with oral medication.
Discomfort, swelling and discoloration of the breasts are expected for several weeks. Usually, our patients return to most normal activity within two weeks but since you are a house keeper this would be a longer time, most likely 4-6 weeks - Ask your plastic surgeon for the best advice.. The scars at the incision lines typically become reddish, raised and firm a few weeks after surgery, but during the first several months they become pale and soft. After 8-12 months, the scars are relatively inconspicuous. The nipples and some areas of the skin may be numb or sensitive after surgery. Sensation may return within a few weeks or months, but may be diminished or overly sensitive.

Breast reduction and axillary lipo

Hello and thanks for your question.

It's very common to add axillary liposuction to a breast reduction, and in fact I do this in most cases. I will commonly liposuction the area in front of the armpit, the side of the breast, and the side of the chest wall. I don't think it adds significantly to the recovery, and certainly helps shape, especially if you're having a vertical (lollipop scar) reduction. It's difficult to contour the "back rolls" without turning a patient over during surgery, but you can usually get some nice contouring of the areas I mentioned above.

Most women are fine with 2 weeks off work, although many women are more tired than usual when they first go back.

In terms of pain meds, I would ask your surgeon's office what your options are.

Best wishes-

Breast reduction and Axillery Liposuction at the same time; what is the recovery?

Thank you for your question and pictures. I often include axillary liposuction with a breast reduction to contour the lateral corners of the incision. With large pendulous breasts, the tail of the breast often continues into the armpit and if you do not address this at the time of the reduction, you can have some skin and soft tissue excess laterally that can be troubling. It was always there, but when the breasts are reduced, the patient will swear up and down that it was never that way before and you made it more prominent. It is all relative, but best to address it at the time of surgery. As for the recovery, the additional liposuction should not change your overall recovery.

As for the specifics of your recovery including time off work, pain medication, and the details of the liposuction, there is no standard for this and each doctor is different so you need to discuss these specifics with your surgeon. 

Good luck!

Breast reduction and Axillery Liposuction at the same time; what is the recovery?

Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.  Sometimes, extension of the breast reduction procedure towards the axillary area may be helpful when it comes to improving contour of the upper/lateral chest area. Liposuction surgery is also a useful tool in this regard.

Best to communicate your goals/questions directly with your plastic surgeon in front of a full-length mirror.  Otherwise, online consultants can only speculate as to what has been planned. Best wishes for outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Breast reduction and Axillary Liposuction

Thank you for your questions and photos and also good luck for your procedure. In patients with large and heavy breasts, liposuction if often very useful to help in the reshaping and also in reducing the length of the scars towards the axilla. With regards to recovery, on average I advice my patients 2 weeks of rest, avoiding lifting, driving and physical activity. Make also sure that you ask your surgeon, as he/she might have a different set of post operative instructions for you.

All the best.

Andrea Marando
Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon
Manchester and London

Andrea Marando, MD
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 111 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.