Adipose Tissue Necrosis Definition

The fat necrosis is a non-painful usually change in the fatty tissue in the breast, which often occurs as a result of violence. Adipose tissue necrosis does not pose a health risk and generally does not require treatment.

What is adipose tissue necrosis?

According to Polyhobbies, adipose tissue necrosis is the term used to describe the death of fatty tissue in the breast. Necrosis (Greek “n├ękrosis”, German “killing”) is the destruction of single or multiple cells in the living body.

In adipose tissue necrosis, this destruction of cells affects the adipose tissue cells in the breast. The escaping fat is absorbed by the surrounding connective tissue. If this happens to several cells, a pseudo cyst gradually develops, which is filled with oily fluid.

The cyst can become calcified over time and becomes palpable as a lump in the breast. With a purely external examination, the benign nodules caused by adipose tissue necrosis cannot be distinguished from a malignant tumor.


Adipose tissue necrosis in the breast can have a variety of causes. Often adipose tissue necrosis occurs as a result of violence. These can take the form of blows, bruises and bruises, for example after a car accident or a fall. Here, the adipose tissue cells in the breast are directly damaged and die.

Adipose tissue necrosis can also develop after breast operations. If blood vessels are severed during an operation in the chest cavity, blood flow to the area in question is no longer guaranteed. The blood supply to the adipose tissue cells is interrupted.

The consequence is the death of the fatty tissue. Necrosis can also result from improper drug injection. However, this rarely happens in the chest.

Symptoms, ailments & signs

In the case of adipose tissue necrosis in the breast, there are usually no particular symptoms that have a negative impact on everyday life or on the health of the person concerned. For this reason, fatty tissue necrosis in the breast often does not need treatment. Those affected primarily suffer from a lump that has formed in the breast.

This lump is visible as a slight swelling and can have a negative effect on the aesthetics of the person concerned. Furthermore, in the case of fatty tissue necrosis in the breast, the patient’s lymph nodes are also swollen, with the nodes under the armpits being particularly affected by the swelling. The aesthetic complaints can also lead to depression or other psychological upsets, although these occur relatively rarely.

Adipose tissue necrosis in the breast is harmless in the first place, but it can also indicate breast cancer and should therefore always be examined. As a rule, pain does not occur if the fatty tissue necrosis in the breast is benign and not a malignant tumor. If it is a malignant tumor, metastasis in the body of the person concerned can occur without treatment.

Diagnosis & course

Adipose tissue necrosis in the breast is first detected by just palpating the breast. The lumps caused by adipose tissue necrosis are often easily palpable. They can be of different sizes – depending on how many adipose tissue cells have been destroyed.

If the palpation reveals a hardening or a lump in the breast, a more detailed diagnosis is important.

Although adipose tissue necrosis is generally harmless, the lumps in the breast can also indicate malignant tumors or breast cancer.

The further diagnosis is made through an ultrasound examination. If necessary, the lumps in the breast will be surgically removed and examined to rule out the possibility of breast cancer.

The course of adipose tissue necrosis is unproblematic in the majority of cases. Adipose tissue necrosis in the breast is benign and is rarely accompanied by discomfort or pain.


In most cases, the fatty tissue necrosis in the breast does not cause any particular complications or discomfort. There is also no pain, so that the patient can live with the symptom completely symptom-free. Life expectancy is not reduced or changed by the fatty tissue necrosis in the breast and this disease does not necessarily have to be treated.

As a rule, there is also no health risk. The lymph nodes are swollen in the armpit area and lumps develop in the breast. However, as long as the patient does not complain of pain or other symptoms, no treatment is required. The situation is different if the fatty tissue necrosis in the breast is caused by a tumor.

In this case, the tumor must be removed so that it does not spread to other regions of the body. The earlier this is diagnosed, the higher the chances of a complete cure. If an operation is necessary for aesthetic reasons, it can also be carried out and does not lead to complications. In some cases, the deformations can lead to decreased self-esteem or inferiority complexes in the patient.

When should you go to the doctor?

Changes in the tissue in the breast should always be presented to a doctor and thoroughly examined by him. If lumps, swellings or growths develop, it is advisable for a doctor to examine them. If there is pain or discoloration of the skin on your chest, there is cause for concern. A doctor should be consulted as soon as possible so that the causes can be clarified. If the breast increases in size, this observation should be discussed with a doctor.

Breast tissue enlargement is unusual, especially during periods outside of the menstrual period. If the lymph starts to grow, it should be presented to a doctor. Although adipose tissue necrosis in the breast is not considered to require treatment, a doctor’s visit is necessary to rule out other serious and life-threatening diseases.

Therefore, special care should be taken, especially with tissue changes in the breast and in its immediate vicinity.If there is a vague feeling that something might be wrong, a feeling of illness or fears arise, it is advisable to discuss these sensations with a doctor.

In addition, the breast tissue should be sampled at regular intervals during check-ups by a doctor. Women who have suffered from previous breast diseases are advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible if there are any changes.

Treatment & Therapy

In principle, adipose tissue necrosis does not require any therapy. The lumps in the fatty tissue of the breast are harmless and usually do not cause any complications. Surgical removal of tissue samples is still necessary in every case.

The lumps in the breast are similar in shape and size to malignant tumors. Only a careful examination of the removed tissue can rule out that the hardening is a sign of breast cancer. If the examination of the removed tissue sample shows that it is benign adipose tissue necrosis, further treatment and removal of the necrosis are not necessary from a medical point of view.

If the fatty tissue in the breast is affected over a large area, surgical measures can be initiated. The death of fat tissue in large parts of the breast can lead to deformations and dents, which can also be clearly seen from the outside. A restoration may be necessary for aesthetic reasons. The dead fat cells are removed in order to give the breast its natural shape again. However, this treatment is only for cosmetic restoration and has no medicinal effect.

Outlook & forecast

The outlook and prognosis for an existing fatty tissue necrosis in the breast looks quite positive. Affected people often do not even notice this clinical picture, so that medical and drug treatment can be dispensed with. The fatty tissue breaks down by itself, so that small nodules form. The dead tissue cells pose no danger or risk. Even without medical treatment, no deterioration is to be expected.

In very rare cases, however, the dead tissue is malignant. If the person concerned visits a doctor in such a case, no complications are to be expected. The tissue is removed with a surgical procedure. The prospect and prognosis for a complete cure looks very good.

The course of the disease is different if the sick person completely foregoes medical treatment in such a case. The small nodules can clog individual blood vessels, which can lead to an embolism. Often it is a pulmonary embolism. An existing adipose tissue necrosis in the breast should be assessed at least once by an appropriate doctor. This can have a positive influence on the entire course of the disease.


Targeted prevention of fatty tissue necrosis in the breast is not possible, as this is often the result of unforeseen and, above all, unwanted violence. It makes sense to protect yourself as much as possible from falls or accidents. Breast operations that have no medical purpose should also be avoided in order to minimize the risk of blood vessel damage as a result of the operation.


As a rule, the person affected with adipose tissue necrosis in the breast is definitely dependent on a surgical procedure by a doctor. This is the only way to completely alleviate the symptoms and prevent further complications, as self-healing cannot occur in the case of fatty tissue necrosis in the breast. The earlier this complaint is recognized, the better the further course of the disease will usually be.

After such an operation, the patient should definitely rest and take care of his body. Stressful, strenuous or sporting activities should be avoided in any case, in order not to unnecessarily burden the body. Further measures or options for follow-up care are usually not available to the person concerned and are also not necessary.

The tissue should still be checked after collection as it could be malignant tissue. Regular examinations are also useful in order to identify and treat tumors in the body at an early stage. Since fatty tissue necrosis in the breast can also lead to aesthetic and thus psychological complaints, a visit to a psychologist is often very useful. Whether the fatty tissue necrosis in the breast leads to a reduced life expectancy cannot be universally predicted.

You can do that yourself

Since adipose tissue necrosis in the breast is often caused by the action of violence, the patient should ensure that the causes of the violence are clarified and corrected. If there are regular beatings or physical conflicts with family members, friends or partners, it is advisable to seek help. There are various state contact points where victims of physical violence are cared for and given comprehensive assistance.

If the fatty tissue necrosis in the breast was caused by a one-off event after an accident or a fall, care must be taken to ensure that this event is processed emotionally. If nightmares develop or fears arise, the person affected is well advised to seek therapeutic help. In addition, he should talk to other people about what he has experienced in order to be able to process it well.

To avoid further illnesses, the breast can be independently palpated at regular intervals and checked for lumps or indurations. Until the symptoms have subsided, the breast tissue must be protected by the possibility of further external influence. Bruising, sleeping on your chest at night, or intense physical activity such as jumping or running should be avoided. The chest should be spared, provided with sufficient warmth and should be protected from strong vibrations within the movement sequences.

adipose tissue necrosis