Axillary Breast Tissue Removal - Surgery, Before & After Result

Axillary Breast Tissue Removal

Treatment Duration


15 Minutes

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20 Minutes

Treatment Cost



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Axillary Breast Tissue Removal

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Breast tissue forms the shape and size of the breasts. However, sometimes, it can develop in areas beyond the normal location of the breasts, such as the axilla (commonly known as the armpits), requiring axillary breast tissue removal. Axillary breast tissue (also called accessory breast tissue) can occur in approximately 2% to 6% of women and 1% to 3% of men. 

Axillary breast tissue can get painful and cause discomfort. Moreover, the look and feel of axillary breasts can get bothersome for people. It can make the armpit fat appear thicker and lumpier, especially during pregnancy or before menstruation.

So, what is the solution to axillary breasts? Axillary breast tissue removal! Very safe and effective. Axillary breast tissue removal surgery can help a person eliminate saggy armpit fat. Continue reading to know the meaning, procedure, and recovery of the surgery.

Surgery Name Axillary Breast Tissue Removal
Disease Treated Thick and lumpy armpits
Benefits of the Surgery Relief from pain, Reduced irritation, Improved mobility of the arms, Elimination of undesirable contours
Treated by Plastic Surgeon


What is Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery?

Axillary breast tissue removal surgery removes excess breast tissue from the axilla (i.e., the armpit). The surgery often involves a combination of liposuction and excision. However, these procedures can also be used alone to remove axillary breast tissue

Anatomy and Physiology of Breast

  1. The adult breast is located on top of the pectoral muscle atop the ribcage. 
  2. The breast tissue extends horizontally from the lateral border of the sternum (the flat bone in the middle of the chest) to the mid-axillary line (the centre of the axilla).
  3. A tail of breast tissue extends to the underarm area. 
  4. The breast tissue is surrounded by fascia (a thin layer of connective tissue). 
  5. The deep layer of fascia sits on top of the pectoralis muscle, and the superficial layer sits under the skin. 
  6. The growth of fat tissues, lymph nodes, or the breast glandular tissues in the underarm characterises axillary breast tissue.

Who needs Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery?

People undergo breast tissue removal surgery for both cosmetic and physical concerns. Anyone above 15 years of age experiencing utmost discomfort with sagging armpits, obstructing the movements of hands is an ideal candidate for axillary breast tissue removal.

How is Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery performed?

Axillary breast tissue removal is an outpatient procedure. This procedure can be performed using various techniques, including.

  1. Liposuction: Liposuction is preferred when the lumps are small. 
  2. Excision: The method is preferred when comparatively large masses can be removed through a small incision. 
  3. Axilla Plasty: The procedure combines excision and liposuction to correct the overhang of skin and fat in the underarm area. 

Please note: The selection of the treatment approach is based on the patient’s health condition, the results of the diagnostic tests, and the surgeon’s opinion. 

The general steps involved in the axilla breast tissue removal surgery are as follows:

  1. The patient will be made to relax on the operating table. 
  2. The anesthesiologist will put an IV line in the arms or hands of the patients for fluids and medications. 
  3. He/she will administer local anaesthesia for liposuction or general anaesthesia to put the patient to sleep during the excision surgery. 
  4. The nursing team will clean the surgical site with an antiseptic solution. 
  5. The anesthesiologist will monitor the patient’s vitals throughout the procedure. 
  6. The surgeon will mark the targeted areas. 
  7. He/she will make an incision within the armpit fold. The incision will only be a few millimetres for liposuction or a little longer for excision. 
  8. The surgeon removes the excess tissue with the selected technique through this incision while preserving every nerve, lymph node, and axillary fat pad. 
  9. Lastly, the incisions are closed with sutures, and a dressing is placed on the wound. 
  10. If necessary, the team may also place drains before suturing.

Expert Doctors

Dr. Amrika Seshadri

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

11+ Years




Dr. Suhas S

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

14+ Years




NABH Accredited Hospitals

Landmark Hospital

Landmark Hospital

4.0/5(90 Ratings)
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What to expect before and on the day of Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery?

Before surgery and on the day of the surgery, the surgeon will provide several instructions to the patient for preparation. The patient will be told what to do and what not to do. 

Before Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery

Here’s what a patient can expect before the procedure:

  1. Consultation and Evaluation
    1. The patient will be advised for a pre-anaesthetic checkup. 
    2. The doctor will evaluate the patient’s medical history. 
    3. Based on the PAC results, the anaesthesiologist will decide the type of anaesthesia to be administered.
    4. Based on the diagnosis results, the doctor will decide the type of surgery to be performed.  
    5. The patient must provide a list of all their medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, herbs, and supplements. 
    6. After receiving clearance, the doctor will appoint a date for the surgery. 
    7. He/she will briefly explain the surgical procedure, duration, cost, etc. 
  2. Restrictions
    1. The patient must quit smoking and limit alcohol several weeks before the surgery.
    2. Before the procedure, the patient will be instructed to stop taking blood thinners and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). 
    3. The doctor will also ask the patient to not to eat or drink anything after midnight. 

On the Day of Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery

On the day of the admission for the surgery, the patient can expect the following.

  1. The patient needs to come to the hospital before the scheduled time.
  2. The patient will be asked to sign the consent formalities. 
  3. Comfortable clothes should be worn by the patient on when visiting the hospital. The nursing staff will also ask the patient to change into a hospital gown. 
  4. The team will shave off any extra hair at the surgical site. 
  5. The doctor will record the patient’s last meal. 
  6. The anaesthesiologist will monitor the vitals, including breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. 
  7. The patient will be moved to the OT room.

What to expect after Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery?

As the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, the patient can go home on the same day. The patient can also expect the following while recovering from the surgery in the hospital and at home: 

The recovery process in the hospital

  1. The patient will be moved to the recovery room and will be kept under observation till the patient comes to senses. 
  2. Immediately after the procedure, the patient may feel slightly nauseous due to the effect of anaesthesia.
  3. The anaesthesiologist will monitor their body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. 
  4. The doctor will give pain medications through IV to manage pain. 
  5. Once the patient’s condition stabilises, he/she will get discharged from the hospital. 
  6. The doctor will give home care instructions. 

Recovery process/expectation after hospital discharge

  1. The patient must follow all the instructions provided by the healthcare provider.
  2. The patient may experience some swelling, bruising, and numbness that will subside in a few weeks. 
  3. The arm and shoulder’s range of motion may become restricted for some time as scar tissue begins to form around the incision. Thus, the patient must do the normal arm exercises as instructed by the healthcare provider.
  4. Incision Care
    1. Keep the wound clean and dry, and take good care of the incision.
    2. Wash the incision with soap and water and clean it with a dry towel.
    3. Wash hands before and after touching the incision.
    4. Unless drains are placed in the incision, the patient can leave the incision uncovered. 
    5. Protect the scars from the sun for at least a year. 
  5. Instruction for taking shower
    1. The patient can shower 24 hours after the surgery.
    2. Showering with warm water can help with relaxation. 
  6. Activities to do
    1. Take medications as prescribed by the doctor.
    2. Do light walking and exercise to improve blood circulation.
    3. Wear a compression bra or garment for a few weeks to facilitate skin retraction.
    4. The patient can resume physical activities whenever they feel comfortable. 
    5. The patient can return to work within a week of the surgery. 
  7. Restrictions
    1. Avoid strenuous activities for about three to four weeks or until the patient heals completely. 
    2. Avoid swimming, hot tubs, baths, and saunas until the doctor permits.
    3. Do not drive or consume alcohol while on prescription medicines. 
  8. Diet: Include fibre-rich food, such as vegetables, fresh fruits, cereals, and whole grains, in the diet.

First follow-up appointment

  1. The first follow-up appointment is generally scheduled within the first two weeks after the surgery. 
  2. During this visit, the doctor will monitor the recovery and evaluate the chances of complications.
  3. The doctor might also change the medication or advise the patient to continue with the previous medication for some more time, depending on the condition and recovery of the surgical area. 
  4. The doctor will advise the patient for further timely follow-ups as well.

Benefits of Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery

Axillary breast tissue removal surgery is safe, and effective, and offers several other benefits. The benefits derived from the surgery include:

  1. Relief from pain: Breast tissue in the armpit can cause severe pain. However, the procedure can help relieve pain caused by breast tissue in the axilla. 
  2. Reduced irritation: A lump under the arms can cause excessive sweating. This can lead to rashes and irritation in the armpit region. Breast tissue removal surgery can reduce this irritation caused by sweating or clothing in that area. 
  3. Improved mobility of the arms: The development of excess breast tissue in the axilla can restrict the movement of the arms and affect arm posture. Patients can move their arms freely after recovery from the surgery. 
  4. Elimination of undesirable contours: Excess growth of breast tissue in the arms can lower the confidence of women to wear sleeveless dresses and clothes.
    Axillary breast tissue removal is an effective procedure to remove undesirable contours of the underarm and give women the freedom to dress as they like.

Risks and complications of Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery

Axillary breast tissue removal surgery is a safe and effective procedure. However, like any other surgery, it has some potential risks, which include:

  1. Infection
  2. Scarring
  3. Pain
  4. Excessive bleeding
  5. Nerve injury
  6. Haematoma (blood accumulation)
  7. Seroma (fluid accumulation)
  8. Wound separation

When is consultation with the doctor needed?

The patient should call their healthcare provider if they experience any of the following:

  1. Red, painful, swollen, or hot arm, hand, breast or torso
  2. A fever of 101℉ or higher
  3. Do not get a normal range of motion four to six weeks after the surgery
  4. Swelling that does not subside after one week

Risks of Delaying Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery

Axillary breast tissue can cause pain in the underarm, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If left untreated, breast tissues can grow and become even more problematic. Problems of delaying treatment include:

  1. Limited choice of clothes
  2. Poor arm posture
  3. Excessive sweating and stickiness
  4. Conditions like cysts, lipomas, or other skin issues may go undetected

Cost of Axillary Breast Tissue Removal Surgery

The cost of axillary breast tissue removal surgery ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1,00,000. The cost can vary based on several factors, such as:

  1. Size of the lump (the cost of surgery increases with the size of the lump)
  2. The method used for tissue removal (cost is less when either liposuction or surgical excision is performed; cost increases when a combination of these procedures is performed)
  3. Type of hospital (cost is more at a private hospital compared to a government hospital)
  4. Duration of hospitalisation 
  5. Surgeon’s expertise and experience

The following table shows the cost breakup of different components of the surgery:

Components Cost
Diagnostic tests (pre and post-surgery) Rs 3,500 to Rs 10,000
Hospital stay Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000 per day
OT room and ICU charges Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000
Medications Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000
Post-surgery garments and support Approximately Rs 3,000
Surgeon’s and anaesthesiologist’s fees Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000



An underarm lump due to the growth of axillary breast tissue can become problematic and affect regular activities and lifestyle. Axillary breast tissue removal surgery is a safe and effective procedure. It can help you get rid of lumpier armpits and boost your confidence to wear anything you like. 

For more doubts regarding the surgery for axillary breast tissue removal, you can consult a HexaHealth expert TODAY! Our team of professionals will guide you through the treatment options and connect you with surgeons who offer the best axillary breast tissue removal results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

After axillary breast tissue removal, you may experience swelling, numbness, or tenderness in the armpit area. These symptoms will subside in a few weeks, after which you will be able to see the results of the surgery.

Furthermore, the doctor will advise you to take a week off from work during the initial recovery period.

While swelling after axillary breast tissue removal will subside within a week or two, full recovery from the procedure can take about one to two months. You can resume work a week after the surgery. However, it is best to avoid strenuous activities for about three to four weeks.
Since axillary tissue is not a tumour, it does not grow back once removed. However, if any tissue is left, it can probably grow during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Axillary fat, commonly known as armpit fat, looks like a small bulge next to the armpit. This collection of fat is separate from the rest of the breast.

If the underarm growth is due to breast glandular tissue, it cannot be removed without surgery. The only options are liposuction, excision, or a combination of both.

However, if the underarm growth is due to fatty tissue, the lump size can reduce with exercise, a healthy diet, and weight loss. Some other methods for axillary breast tissue removal without surgery include:

  1. Injection lipolysis
  2. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound

There are three levels of axillary lymph nodes. Level I is located in the lower part of the armpit, level II is in the mid-axilla, and level III is in the upper part near the breastbone.

Generally, the nodes in levels I and II are removed during the traditional axillary dissection. Based on the physical exam, the surgeon will remove five to thirty nodes from levels I and II.

No, axillary breast tissue may decrease in size due to weight loss, but it will not disappear. Liposuction and surgical excision are the only proven ways to remove axillary breast tissue.
No, exercise does not make a big difference in getting rid of axillary breasts. Since the breast tissue is made up of some fatty elements, it is possible that exercise could decrease the size of the excess tissue. However, it is not a proven treatment for axillary breast tissue removal.

Some home remedies to affect the appearance and decrease the size of axillary breast tissue include:

  1. Hot water compresses 
  2. Massage 
  3. Vitamin-E capsules 
  4. Charcoal compress 
  5. Watermelon juice 
  6. Lemon juice 
  7. Contrast baths
Axillary breast tissue is a condition that can cause discomfort and cosmetic concerns if not removed. However, after axillary breast tissue removal, you can move your arm freely, experience no pain, and wear anything you like without worrying about armpit fat.
Breast tissue removal surgery can take anywhere between three to five hours. Breast tissue is removed during breast reduction surgery which involves removing fat, tissue, and skin from the breast.

Immediately after surgery, the breasts are swollen, cone-shaped, and high on the chest. There may even be some asymmetry between the breasts.

Even when swelling subsides after six to eight weeks, the breasts may continue to take their final shape for up to a year after breast surgery.


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