What to do? Is this common? Is surgery the best way to take it out? Also intend flying for a holiday soon. Is this okay? (Photo)

Had my breast reduction/lift on the 28/10 and it went well. A couple of days ago I noticed a bruise beneath my left breast and when I felt it a painless hard lump. Doc suspects fat necrosis,so worried. Is this something I should worry about?How do I make it go away??

Doctor Answers 5

Lipo-lift, breast lift, breast reduction, mastopexy, benelli, augmentation mastopexy

I appreciate your question.

I perform a liposuction breast lift that removes tissue from the areas you don't want such as near the armpit and the lower portion hanging near your stomach. Once I use this to shape the breast I then remove the skin to tighten the breast and create a better shape with nice cleavage. Since I perform this less invasively the recovery time is faster. The size would depend on the proportion with your body versus going for a cup size. It works very well if there are asymmetries. I can also use the removed fat as a natural breast augmentation by grafting the fat back into the breast to create more projection or into the top to create more cleavage. This procedure can also be combined with an implant if needed or wanted.  It should not affect nipple sensation, mammograms, cancer risk or breast-feeding. If you gain or lose weight, the transferred fat can do the same. Firmness can occur but typically resolves over time.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.  Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery.  

Best of luck!    

Dr. Schwartz 

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

#RealSelf100Surgeon 

#RealSelfCORESurgeon


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Breast reduction

Many thanks for your question. This most likely represents an area of fat necrosis and no intervention is needed in the vast majority of cases. It is early days and I would advise massage of the area and be patient. Occasionally intervention is required and I would be guided by regular reviews and the advise of your surgeon. These areas can become infected and cause discharge in a small minority of cases. I hope this is helpful and you have a smooth recovery.

All the very best,

Jonathan Adamthwaite FRCS (Plast)

Jonathan Adamthwaite, FRCS (Plast)
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat necrosis after breast reduction surgery…

Areas of fat necrosis can be treated surgically;  nonsurgical management is an option also. If the area of fat necrosis is small, it may take a few weeks or months to dissipate;  for larger areas, it may take several months (or longer).  Sometimes, patients will experience drainage as the unhealthy tissue liquefies and makes its way out.


 The important part of this process is close follow-up with your plastic surgeon, who may able to help with judicious debridement debridement ( surgical removal of unhealthy tissue).  Whether or not surgical intervention is indicated is a clinical judgment that only he/she can make after physical examination and consideration of your progress/concerns.

Best wishes for an outcome that you will be pleased with long-term.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,460 reviews

Fat necrosis

If you have fat necrosis it may resorb on its own. You and your surgeon will have to decide what is the best approach.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

What to do? Is this common? Is surgery the best way to take it out? Also intend flying for a holiday soon. Is this okay?

Thank you for your question and congratulation on your recent procedure. The risk of having a fat necrosis after a breast reduction is not very high and in most cases, it is treated conservatively. The decision will depend on the size of the affected area and on the evolution. Close monitoring with your surgeon will be best at this stage.

All the best.

Andrea Marando


Andrea Marando, MD
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 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.