One very common complaint I get from my female patients is that they get these bulges at their underarms – between the bra and the fold of the underarm, making it unsightly to wear sleeveless tops and tube tops.
The immediate reaction my patients have is that these bulges are collections of fat – they will ask to undergo a diet program, or a body sculpting treatment to improve the area. However, very often, these ladies who come to me are not fat by any measure. Many of them are highly motivated individuals who eat healthily and hit the gym very often, and yet, they are unable to remove the bulges, try as they might.
The Axillary Breast
When I first hint at the possibility that the bulge may be an extra breast, I am invariably answered with gasps of horror, screams of disbelief, and revelations of why they are an ‘A’ instead of a ‘C’ – the breast tissue have migrated somewhere else!
But that is what these bulges really are! – Accessory breasts (also known as polymastia), or additional breasts, which usually appear along the milk line, above or below the normal breast tissue. The breasts may appear with or without nipples; and the most common area, by far, is the underarm area – the axillary breast.
Accessory axillary breasts plaque 2% to 6% of women and 1% in men. The problem seems to affect Asian women more, explaining why I see them so often in my practice. While usually harmless, they cause a great deal of distress as those affected are unable to wear sleeveless tops. They can also cause discomfort and swelling, especially during puberty and pregnancy.
Axillary breasts used to be excised surgically, however, the procedure wil leave an unsightly scar. In addition, the breast may be gone, but the skin in the area will still protrude, and the problem of not being able to wear sleeveless tops will remain.
The best way to treat the problem today is via liposuction. The breast tissue in the underarms is safely and effectively removed; via small, inconspicuous incisions. The procedure is very quick and only requires anesthesia administered locally, with minimal downtime.
This is one procedure I always recommend my patients to go for – it is simple, it only requires one session, and it is life changing.