Accessory axillary breast tissue can occur on just one side or affect both breasts. The ectopic mammary tissue is present from birth, but it often increases in size or becomes noticeable with aging, weight gain or loss, puberty, pregnancy or breast feeding. It is sensitive to changing hormonal levels.

Accessory axillary breast tissue can have more than cosmetic considerations. It can become symptomatic and cause pain, restrict arm movement, increase in size, and undergo the same pathology that occurs in normal breast tissue, including breast cancer.

Currently, treatment of accessory axillary breast tissue is mainly surgical, especially for larger sized areas that are cosmetically obvious or causing symptoms. Surgical treatment involves removal of the accessory breast tissue as a whole unit; this includes the underlying tissue and the covering skin.

Axillary accessory breasts can be treated by both excision and/or liposuction. Dr. Tanna performs a unique minimally invasive procedure whereby excision is done completely in the axillary region with little to no visible scar in the actual breast itself.

Axillary Breast Removal | Dr. Neil Tanna

Dr. Tanna performs a minimally invasive procedure to directly excise accessory axillary breast tissue. The following video demonstrates the technique:

Image of a Procedure Incision

Dr. Tanna Surgical Technique

His surgical technique, which has been refined by his extensive experience and clinical research on the subject, is detailed below.

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Skin Markings

Immediately prior to surgery, Dr. Tanna marks a crescent-like area (solid line) in the armpit, which will be directly excised. The area that will be internally removed is also marked (cloud-like line). If present, any creases of the armpit are also noted (dotted line).

Armpit Tattoo

Skin incision & Tissue Dissection

The skin is incised along the marked area in the armpit. Following the skin incision, tissue dissection is beveled to internally remove additional tissue. Through this incision, axillary creases are eliminated, which will ensure a smooth transition between the armpit and breast.


Tissue Removal

After the axillary tissue is fully excised, the resulting cavity is rinsed with antibiotic solution and injected with long-acting anesthetic for postoperative pain control.


Skin Closure

The skin edges are brought together and carefully aligned for closure. The incisions are closed in two layers, using all absorbable sutures. This nuanced technique ensures the resulting scar will be well-hidden within the natural folds of the armpit.

Breast Incision

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Case Study: Axillary bra bulge removal with minimally invasive excision

The patient in this case study is a 39 year-old female who presented with accessory right axillary fat and breast tissue. She noticed the area increase in size after puberty and again after pregnancy. This resulted in discomfort. She was also bothered by its appearance and wanted to have it removed. The area was surgically excised with a minimally invasive technique, through an incision hidden in the axilla (armpit).

Armpit Fat


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