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Bingo Wings, Armpit Fat & Accessory Breasts: Why they won’t respond to non-invasive treatments

May 5, 2022
February 1, 2024

It is common myth that armpit & arm fat are easy to treat & slim down. Although the areas are smaller in comparison to other body parts, it is not that simple.

Table of Contents

Bingo wings, armpit fat, and accessory breasts are as common as rain. Many of us deal with them and are bothered by them when looking to wear strapless and sleeveless tops, and dresses. Having bingo wings, armpit fat, or accessory breasts does not mean you are unhealthy. Many athletes and celebrities have them too! Chrissy Teigen admitted to getting liposuction on her armpits so that she feels good in dresses. However, as normal as having them, it is equally normal to be curious about how they can be removed.

Women are more likely to face the dilemmas of excess fat on the arms and armpits. This is because, on average, women have about six to eleven percent more body fat than men, which may be due to the priming of the body for childbearing.

Understanding bingo wings, armpit fat & accessory breasts

Before we get into the details on how to get rid of them, let’s find out more about bingo wings, armpit fat, and accessory breasts first.

Bingo Wings

Bingo Wings

We’ve mentioned them a couple of times now, but what are bingo wings actually? Make an L shape with your arms and shake them. Do you see the underside of your arms jiggling? This loose flesh that wobbles as you shake is bingo wings. This is among the reasons many stray away from sleeveless and short sleeve tops. Some of us even pose a certain way in photos to hide them.

Bingo wings are caused by a lack of muscle definition in loose skin and fat areas. Fat growth is more susceptible in the areas under the arms, which is why it is so common there. Among other common causes is genetic predisposition.

Our skin loses elasticity as we age and begins to sag. This occurs on all body parts, although it is more noticeable in certain regions, such as the underarms. The misconception that bingo wings only affect overweight people is false; no one can escape it, even those who are slim and of normal BMI. This is because they are essentially fat that refuse to go away.

Armpit Fat

Woman pointing to Armpit Fat or Accessory Breasts

Excess weight, genes, or hormonal changes contribute to armpit fat. Armpit fat is the bulge between your breast and arm, especially when wearing a bra or a well-fitted top.

Women with armpit fat tend to find the troubled zone more pronounced when wearing tight-fitting tops, such as strapless or sleeveless gowns, tube tops, and even bras! The temporary solution to armpit fat is avoiding tops that draw attention to this area, but this also means giving up on some clothing choices you love!

Generally, armpit fat is a tough spot for fat reduction, be it with non-invasive methods such as fat freezing and ultrasound, topical applications like cream, or spot reduction exercises.

Accessory Breasts

Accessory breast glands removed from the armpit in a patient by Dr Ivan Puah

Also known as polymastia, accessory breasts are residual (breast) tissue that remains from normal embryologic development. According to past research, this ailment affects up to 6% of the population, with the Japanese being the most affected.

Breast tissue grows along the milk line, which is a line that runs from the armpit to the groin on both sides, in normal development. Polymastia occurs when more tissue disintegrates and is absorbed into the body. An auxiliary breast is breast tissue (not armpit fat or excess fat!) that extends beyond the breast region.

Under the skin, it may look like a lump or swelling. It can resemble a mole or a dimple in the case of accessory nipples. It might also resemble a conventional nipple, albeit it is usually smaller.

Cause of Accessory Breasts

Genetics is the most common cause of accessory breasts. As glandular tissue, axillary breast tissue is vulnerable to hormonal fluctuations like normal breast tissue. Axillary breast tissue may grow in size during pregnancy and nursing.

Unlike fat tissues, accessory breasts cannot be eliminated by liposuction, and they certainly will not respond to lifestyle changes or any form of non-invasive treatment. The only solution to solve this issue is to excise the tissue surgically.

Classification of accessory breasts

There are 8 possible subtypes of accessory breasts. The Kajava classification, developed in 1915, classified them as:

  • complete breast with nipple, areola and glandular tissue
  • supernumerary breast without areola
  • supernumerary breast without nipple
  • aberrant glandular tissue only
  • nipple and areola with fat (pseudomamma)
  • nipple only
  • areola only
  • hair only

Extra breast tissue is not only a cosmetic concern. It can also cause discomfort and pain, making everyday chores like the wearing of certain clothing an ordeal.

Why are non-invasive treatments ineffective in eliminating bingo wings and armpit fat?

Liposuction doctor in Singapore, Dr Ivan Puah, during an armpit fat liposuction procedure

It is a common misconception that the armpit and arm fat are small areas that are easy to treat and slim down. Although the areas are smaller in comparison to other body parts, it is not that simple. Most of us have encountered stubborn fat – it is most likely why you’re still reading this.

After trying all the exercises and diets, the fat still wouldn’t budge. Some might have even tried fat freezing or other non-invasive treatment, and it still hasn’t been fruitful.

Some claim that fat freezing can help, but it may take multiple sessions to see visible results, if any at all. Additionally, fat freezing cannot tighten loose skin from where the fat has been eradicated, and loose skin is a real concern for most women with bingo wings. Swelling and pain are some of the side effects of fat freezing. Unfortunately, some people develop the side effect of fat freezing, called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH). PAH is a condition in which fat cells in the treated region enlarge rather than reduce post-fat freezing.

So, what is a viable alternative?

The answer is liposuction. Liposuction is a proven surgical body contouring procedure to remove fat on the arms and armpits permanently.

Treatment options for accessory breasts removal will be based on the size and shape, the location, the amount of loose skin tissues and the subtypes of the accessory breasts present.

Treating Bingo wings, armpit fat, and accessory breasts at Amaris B. Clinic Singapore

Dr Ivan Puah, medical director at Amaris B. Clinic and Chairman of Lipo Peer Review Committee Singapore, has over 15 years of experience performing surgical fat removal and accessory breast removal surgery.

“Patients bothered with excess fat on the arms are extremely concerned about the presence of loose skin. I have devised the MDC-Lipo Sculpt® technique, a tailored liposuction, and skin tightening approach to achieve two objectives during the procedure. Firstly, it efficiently removes excess fat tissues, further sculpts the arms, and secondly, stimulates collagen production for firmer skin,” explains Dr Puah. The aim is to debulk the fat to achieve more toned and sculpted arms, where patients no longer need to hide in baggy clothes.

“Patients who come in to consult for armpit fat are sometimes surprised to learn that their issues are combinations of both fat and accessory breast. This group of patients will require not just liposuction to remove the fat but also surgical excision of the axillary breast tissue. Armpit fat is tough and generally does not respond to non-surgical methods or exercise. You may be doing a lot of workouts to target the problematic areas. These will benefit the chest muscles but will not solve the issue of armpit fat or axillary breast. Surgical treatment is still the proven and permanent solution to this,” says Dr Puah. A detailed consultation and assessment are required to ascertain whether the individual will require liposuction or liposuction with axillary breast removal.

About Dr Ivan Puah, Liposuction Doctor in Singapore

It is critical to find reliable, skilled and liposuction doctors accredited by the Ministry of Health Singapore before scheduling an appointment for liposuction in Singapore. Dr Ivan Puah is accredited to perform surgical body sculpting procedures like Laserlipolysis (Laser Liposuction) and Vaser Liposuction.

Not one to sit on his laurel, this liposuction and gland removal doctor has trotted the globe to sharpen his body sculpting skills. Dr Ivan Puah has received his Vaser liposuction training in Colorado and Argentina, laser lipolysis training in Italy and dedicated surgical training in gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco.

Finding a doctor who can combine science and art is equally crucial. With the belief that body sculpting surgeries are 70% art and 30% science, areas such as armpits, shoulders, belly, flanks, hips, thighs, breasts, knees, and calves have been successfully treated by Dr. Ivan Puah.

Choosing a liposuction doctor in Singapore who has an aesthetic sensibility is critical since this will aid you in achieving your ideal figure.


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