Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary. - Uta Hagen
Breast tissue makes up the shape and size of your breasts. However, it can sometimes develop beyond the normal location of your breasts. It is particularly common in the area of your armpits (technically known as the axilla). According to medical studies, axillary breast tissue can occur in 2% to 6% of women.
If you have axillary breast tissue, you probably dislike how it looks. It can make the area appear lumpy and "meaty", especially when your arms are down. You may also be able to feel the tissue, as it is thicker and more palpable. It may become particularly troubling before menstruating or with pregnancy, since the axillary breast can swell and feel more sensitive (just like your breasts). Weight gain can make it look worse.
Axillary breast removal surgery
Your axillary breast tissue can be safely removed with surgery. This can be done with liposuction, if there is little correction required, or exision (removing tissue with incisions) for extensive correction. You'll enjoy the following benefits of surgery:
- an elimination of undesirable contours in the underarm area
- improved mobility of the arms
- less irritation caused by clothing
Unique point: hidden scars
When more extensive correction is performed, I always place the incisions within the armpit fold. That means your scarring will be well hidden by the natural crease that already exists there. They won't be obvious and you'll be able to wear sleeveless shirts without worrying about any scars being visible.
What will happen during your surgery
Local anesthesia is administered if liposuction is performed. General anesthesia is for surgery involving excision. Your procedure will take about an hour or so.
An incision is made within the armpit fold. This incision may measure just milimetres if liposuction is used. It may be a little longer if excision is performed. Through this incision, excess tissue is removed with the preferred technique. The incision is then closed and dressed.
Two of the most common factors that my patients say contributed to their enlarged nipples and areolae is pregnancy and aging. – Dr. Leila Kasrai
Recovering from your surgery
- Restrictions on activity
- Some swelling, bruising and numbness for a few weeks
- Results are visible in a couple of months
You'll feel some swelling, bruising and discomfort after your surgery. It may be more extensive if a lot of tissue was removed. You can control discomfort with prescribed pain medication. Reduce swelling and bruising by resting and avoiding vigorous physical activities for at least a month. You'll need to take about a week off from work for your initial recovery period.
Swelling can make the area look larger than you'd like. As the swelling goes down, you'll be able to see the results of your surgery.
You may need to wear a compression garment for a few weeks as you heal. Please wear it as advised to help with your recovery and facilitate the retraction of your skin for enhanced results.
To reduce the appearance of your scars, make sure to follow the post-surgical care instructions I'll give you. Keep your scars well protected from the sun for at least a year, as tanning can make them look worse. You can apply scar reducton creams or other topical treatments to help reduce their visibility.
A leaner contour
Without the lumpiness of axillary breast tissue affecting your armpit area and barely visible scars, you'll enjoy wearing tank tops and other clothes without being embarrassed. It can significantly improve your self-confidence, as it has for my patients.
Frequently asked questions about axillary breast rremoval surgery
What is axillary breast removal?
This surgery removes excess tissue in the breast area. The axillary breast is also known as supernumerary or accessory breast tissue, and is located in the area of the armpits. It can affect one or both sides.
What causes axillary breast tissue?
The condition can be caused by genetics or weight gain.
Technically speaking, axillary breast tissue is composed of glandular tissue. It is susceptible to the hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy and milk production as well as any other changes that can affect normal breast tissue. However, it may also be composed primarily of fatty tissue. Either way, it causes bulging at the armpits that may negatively affect the aesthetics of the area.
Am I normal?
Axillary breast tissue is normally not considered to be a health issue. It is believed to exist in 2% to 6% of women.
Why can it be a problem?
Axillary breast tissue can cause the area near the armpit to bulge unattractively, leading to a meaty appearance. This prevents your clothing to fit properly. When excessively large, it can also cause irritation and inflammation. This is particularly true when wearing certain clothing or bras that may cut into the area.
What happens during my surgery?
Liposuction and/or excision may be performed to remove the axillary breast. The exact techniques applied during your surgery will be discussed during your consultation.
What will my scars look like?
This depends on whether you've had liposuction or excision performed. With liposuction, the incisions measure only a couple of milimetres and will be barely visible. If excision is performed, the incision can measure a few centimetres and be well hidden within the natural crease of your armpit. As a result, they'll only be visible when you lift your arms.
I'm a man but I have this. Can I get the surgery done, too?
Axillary breast tissue may affect more women than men, however some men can still develop the condition. The procedure can be safely performed on either gender. In many instances, male breast reduction may be performed at the same time for a dramatic improvement of the chest contour.
Is axillary breast tissue cancerous?
No. In the vast majority of cases, this tissue is totally benign and non-cancerous. It is usually only an aesthetic concern.
When will I see my results?
An improvement may be immediately visible, however you should wait for the majority of swelling to subside. This is because swelling can make the area look larger than you'd like. For liposuction, you'll need to wait a few weeks while excision can require five to six months.
Is this surgery effective?
Studies have proven that axillary breast tissue removal is safe when performed by an experienced surgeon. Even back in 1995, a study conducted by doctors that was published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery recommends that axillary breast tissue be removed due to the success of the surgery.
Axillary breast surgery is a safe plastic surgery procedure. However, to make an informed decision, you should be aware of the risks involved:
- Wound separation
- Hematoma and seroma
- Undesirable results
In my experience, surgical complications are extremely rare.