Is liposuction during a breast reduction the best way to reduce bulk at the side and under the arms?

I just had my first consultation and my Dr. said he prefers to use liposuction to get a slimmer look to the sides of the breast. He also said this would result in smaller incision scars. This would also be an additional $3000. A friend of mine who has had breast surgery as well as a tummy tuck said that sometimes lipo can result in sagging skin and that the larger scar under my arms would be hardly noticeable once healed. Any opinions would be great. I'm 30 and currently a 34 J

Doctor Answers 10

Liposuction lateral breasts

Either liposuction or dermolipectomy of the lateral breast can be the preferred choice depending on your shape and expectations. A photo may help in suggesting what may be more suitable for you, but the suggestion of surgeon who has examined you will be of more use to you. 

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Liposuction vs skin removal

Thank you for your question.  The decision to perform liposuction vs skin removal really depends on whether there is any excess skin in the area.  Do you have a roll of skin and fat that hangs over on the sides of your chest extending out from your breasts?  If so, you may need the incision to be taken out further to the side.  However, if you simply have fullness in the area without excess skin, then liposuction may be the best answer.  Without photos or an in-person evaluation, we cannot make recommendations for you.  Best wishes!

Nicholas Tarola, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Liposuction/Breast Augmentation Combination -- DO VASER HI DEF

I have done this procedure many times with myself and a plastic surgeon. I do HI def body contouring and the surgeon will do the lift/implant at the same time. This will give you the best results. I suggest you see an expert who works with other surgeons at the same time to get your best results and can formally evaluate you to see if you are a candidate. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Liposuction during a breast reduction.

Liposuction is an excellent way to reduce the fullness to the side of the breast and chest, and the under arm and we use this technique for most breast reduction procedures. It also is very helpful for shaping with a short scar or vertical reduction for those who are candidates.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


In many cases, I prefer to liposuction the lateral chest and armpit region if necessary because I feel that extending the scar may blunt the lateral appearance of the breast in  many cases.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Reduction Techniques

Becky.  Hard to answer without photos, but generally speaking, Lateral breast fullness best treated with direct excision and removal of redundant skin(your friend was right!). There are various techniques to accomplish this. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Good Luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Liposuction and breast reduction


Thanks for the question.  I routinely use liposuction of the lateral breasts and the anterior axilla (fat accumulation in front of the armpit above the breasts) while doing breast reductions.  This allows for a much nicer shape postoperatively.

Best of luck.

Dr T

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Liposuction with breast reduction

Thank you for asking about your breast reduction and liposuction.

  • I have found liposuction to be very helpful in reducing the sides of the breast in women having a breast reduction.
  • I usually use a vertical lift - and the tightening of the breast tissue ends up tightening the skin at the sides.
  • I have not seen sagging skin after this procedure.
  • However this will not work for every one - and depends on how heavy you are and what surgery you need.
  • Direct excision of excess skin and fat can be done - and may be the best approach if an anchor incision is needed.
  • If you are in doubt, you can talk this over with your plastic surgeon or get a second opinion.
  • At least in our area (and Toronto may be much more expensive), $3000 for liposuction of the sides of the chest would be very high.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Is liposuction during a breast reduction the best way to reduce bulk at the side and under the arms?

Liposuction under the arm is commonly done with a breast reduction. The result depends on how tight or loose your skin is. For loose skin, it may be better to extend the scar and remove the loose skin. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Is liposuction during a breast reduction the best way to reduce bulk at the side and under the arms?

Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations be performed.  The answer to your question is: it depends. For some patients, liposuction surgery alone does a very nice job when it comes to contouring the lateral chest wall areas.  For other patients, who have significant amount of redundant skin and/or loss of skin elasticity in the  lateral chest wall areas, direct excision of the excess skin AKA lipectomy (usually an extension of the breast reduction procedure)  plus/minus  liposuction surgery may be necessary.

 My best advice: select your plastic surgeon very carefully.  Then, communicate your goals/concerns carefully as well. Working together you will come up with a good plan to achieve the desired outcome. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,502 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.