Embarrassing Breast Tissue in Your Armpit? Here’s What You Can Do

full breasts in bra

axillary breast tissueAccessory breast tissue, also called hypermastia, is essentially extra breast tissue and is a common developmental phenomenon. It occurs in 2-6% of the general population and can occur in men or women. Accessory breast tissue surgery entails the removal of the excess tissue by a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Preminger in order to restore the naturally smooth contours of the body.

Why does accessory breast tissue occur?

About four to five weeks into gestation, a baby’s breast tissue begins to develop from two lines of glandular tissue that run like a V from the underarm area down to the groin. Ideally, two breasts develop along this so called “milk line” or mammary ridge, and the rest of the tissue recedes. Sometimes, the mammary ridge fails to recede completely, and extra breast tissue takes shape, usually in the underarm area.

It is not unusual for one or more extra nipples to form along with the extra breast tissue or anywhere along the milk line. An extra nipple may present as a freckle or a mole, and a new mother may actually leak milk from it.

Is accessory breast tissue abnormal or dangerous in any way?

Accessory breast tissue is far more common than you might expect and is in almost all cases a benign growth and non-cancerous. However, since the accessory tissue is breast tissue, you may still experience soreness, benign lumps, cysts or malignant changes just as you would in your regular breasts.

What is the process to have accessory breast tissue surgery?

The first step is to have a private consultation with NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Preminger in her Park Avenue office to help you decide if this surgery is for you. The surgery is elective if the tissue is not causing you any physical difficulties, but you may feel that you want to remove the excess tissue for purely cosmetic reasons.

Once you’ve made the decision to proceed, you’ll find that accessory breast tissue surgery with Dr. Preminger is a relatively quick and routine procedure. It can be done in one to three hours right in Dr. Preminger’s Manhattan office under local anesthesia.

Years ago, excess tissue was removed through a fairly arduous surgery. Under general anesthesia, the surgeon would make a lengthy incision and remove breast tissue, fat tissue, and excess skin. Scarring was commonplace.

Now accessory breast tissue removal can be removed by liposuction with a minimal incision. The liposuction also enables Dr. Preminger to feather the underlying fat tissue for maximum contouring effect. If an extra nipple or areola needs removal, Dr. Preminger will remove it at that point. Any extra skin will be removed with a fusiform excision, a technique that leaves little to no trace.

Are there risks or side effects? Will I be satisfied with the results?

Accessory breast tissue surgery in NYC in the hands of Dr. Preminger carries minimal risks.

The Journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery published the results of a 2009 study of 51 patients who underwent accessory breast surgery reporting that “all were satisfied with their appearance after their initial surgery.”

Two of the 51 patients reported infections that were then treated with antibiotics. A patient can expect minimal risks with the surgery. Some slight scarring might occur even though the incisions are very small, and with any surgery, there is always a slight risk of infection.

What is the recovery process?

The recovery process is straightforward and simple. The dressing will be changed after 48 hours by a nurse at Dr. Preminger’s office. If you work, you’ll be back on the job in a week or two and will be able to exercise lightly. Full exercise can be resumed in four to six weeks. Any swelling should resolve in two weeks, and the full cosmetic effect of the surgery should be evident in six months.