What Is Bra Bulge? | Washingtonian Plastic Surgery
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Bra bulge is most commonly the result of loose skin, armpit fit, or excess breast tissue.

In some cases, bra bulge may be the result of all of these factors combined.

Because bra bulge is easily visible during swimsuit season and difficult to eliminate through diet and exercise, many patients turn to surgical and cosmetic procedures to reduce or eliminate the appearance of excess skin.

When it comes to reducing or eliminating bra bulge, a number of surgical as well as non-invasive options are available.

Depending on its cause, the ideal treatment option to reduce or eliminate the appearance of bra bulge varies.

Poor muscle tone, axillary breast tissue, or a poorly fitting bra may all contribute to the appearance of excess underarm fat.

A cosmetic surgeon can best advise which procedure, if any, is most effective to reduce the appearance of bra bulge by working with you to determine its cause.

Targeting Underarm Fat with Liposuction

Bra bulge that is the result of excess fat or breast tissue may be treated with a liposuction procedure.

Liposuction works by breaking apart stubborn areas of fat, then eliminating it through suction.

Liposuction is also a safe and effective option for removing axillary breast tissue.

What Should I Expect During a Liposuction Procedure?

During a liposuction procedure, patients are fully sedated with a general anesthetic.

The procedure is performed using tubes, suction, and a series of incisions made by your surgeon.

Liposuction techniques vary, but the most common techniques include:

  • Ultrasound-assisted(stubborn fat targeted with sound waves)
  • Power assisted(fat is broken apart using the power of vibration)
  • Tumescent: Fat is dissolved and broken apart by injection with a numbing solution

A typical liposuction procedure lasts one to two hours.

Liposuction Aftercare and Recovery

Following the procedure, your doctor will equip you with the appropriate medical supplies including gauze, compression garments, and bandages.

Your surgeon may decide to prescribe pain medication to address any discomfort following the procedure, and antibiotics to prevent infection.

It’s important to maintain proper hygiene, avoid rigorous activity, and keep the incision sites clean and dry for the first few days following the procedure.

Minor bruising and swelling are normal and to be expected.

Once your doctor gives the okay, you may return to work and resume normal activity, typically within one week following liposuction.

During this time, compression garments and medical gauze should be applied to protect the incision areas.

Complications and Risks of the Liposuction Procedure

Liposuction is a safe and effective procedure with a low-risk profile.

In rare instances, adverse reactions and potential complications may result from the procedure.

These complications and potential risks may include:

  • Infection
  • Excess bleeding
  • Kidney and heart problems
  • Allergic reaction
  • Fat embolism
  • Loose skin

In most cases, potential complications and risks of liposuction can be avoided, or are the result of an inexperienced medical professional.

How Much Does Liposuction Cost?

Liposuction rates vary based on the number of areas treated, office fees, and other applicable charges.

Generally speaking, liposuction to reduce excess underarm fat averages a cost of $2,000-$3,000, excluding applicable office and surgical fees.

Reducing Bra Bulge with Skin Excision or Underarm Lift

Skin excision is most often effective in reducing the appearance of underarm fat following a dramatic weight loss.

Skin excision is also referred to as an underarm lift.

What Should I Expect During an Underarm Lift?

An underarm lift is part of a procedure known as Brachioplasty.

Brachioplasty may be performed to lift the upper arms, or simply the area surrounding the armpit that leads to the appearance of bra bulge.

A Brachioplasty to target underarm fat is also referred to as a mini arm lift.

Brachioplasty is performed under local anesthesia.

Once anesthetized, your surgeon will begin with an incision that varies in size based on whether a traditional or mini arm lift is performed.

Most commonly, your surgeon begins with an incision starting at the underarm region to the elbow. In the case of a mini arm lift, the incision site is much smaller.

In some cases, Brachioplasty is performed in conjunction with a liposuction procedure.

This is most often recommended for patients with excess loose skin or resistant fat.

Aftercare and Recovery Period

Aftercare following an arm lift procedure is based on the length of the incision and overall size of the area treated.

Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, antibiotics, and will send you home with the appropriate medical supplies, including gauze and compression garments.

Significant pain directly following the procedure is normal and to be expected.

Patients should avoid using their arms as much as possible for up to 48 hours following an arm lift.

For the first week following Brachioplasty, limit strenuous physical activity.

It is important to avoid exercise and strenuous physical activity that directly targets the arm muscles and underarm region for up to six weeks following the procedure.

Arm Lift Potential Complications and Risks

Like all surgical procedures, Brachioplasty includes risks and potential complications.

These risks and complications may include:

  • Scarring
  • Seroma (fluid accumulation)
  • Fat necrosis
  • Hematoma
  • Nerve damage
  • Suture complications

Cost of the Arm Lift Procedure

A Brachioplasty procedure averages a cost of $800 to $1,500, excluding applicable office and surgical fees.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Navin Singh today to discuss which treatment option is best suited to address your cosmetic concerns.