A buffalo hump is a subcutaneous area of fat deposit in the upper neck and back. This can be quite disfiguring and can lead to contour deformities. When the severity worsens it can even limit the ability of a person to extend their head and neck, and they must keep their head in a flexed downward position. Various disease states such as Cushing’s disease and other disease states are notorious for causing this buffalo hump. The tissue in the buffalo hump is composed of a fibrous subcutaneous fatty tissue that can be painful and is firm to the touch. There are many medications that can cause this as well. Prolonged steroid use for a variety of disease states such as chronic arthritis, asthma, and other abnormalities is frequently associated with the development of a buffalo hump. In addition, it can be associated with the development of a moon face.
For these individuals the buffalo hump can be successfully treated. A very thorough liposuction of this region can significantly and dramatically reduce the excess fat in this region and flatten this buffalo hump. For patients who have lost range of motion because of the fullness of the back, it can be a great relief to again be able to fully extend the head and neck and walking in a perfectly upright manner. For patients who have the slight bulge, it is of great concern to them. Liposuction can thoroughly remove the fat in this area and restore to them a smooth even contour that allows for normal clothing to be worn.
Based on the clinical examination findings conducted during your consultation, various modalities of liposuction will be employed. The most commonly used modalities include ultrasonic liposuction, laser-assisted liposuction-smart lipo, tumescent liposuction, and power-assisted liposuction. If this area is very large, a suction drainage catheter may be required for a few days, but this usually does not interfere with showering, which is almost always possible the first day after surgery. Because the best position to have the procedure conducted is in the prone position, a brief general anesthetic is recommended to protect your airway and to offer maximum comfort. The recovery is straightforward after treatment of this area. The discomfort is usually mild and most patients find that ice bag over this area can make this dramatically comfortable, but adequate pain medications are given for this.