Is Liposuction of the Buffalo Hump Dangerous?

I am considering this procedure in addition to chin liposuction. As ive gotten older in combination with larger breasts, the buffalo hump and bad posture my spine has curved a bit- the hump is there when i straighten my back and when you feel it you can feel tissue but you can also feel my bone. My concern is does this put me at a risk for injury to my spine? is it possible to hit my bone while performing the liposuction and god forbid cause paralysis or something? thank you!

Doctor Answers 9

Liposuction a Buffalo Hump

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A true buffalo hump is a large wedge of lower neck fat that covers the bone.

It is often from steroids, trauma and being overweight.

Before liposuction, have your surgeon check that the 'buffalo hump' is not osteoporosis, with compression of the spine, causing a hump. It often has a layer of fat over it.

How to check? Often a physical examination is all you need. At times, x-rays of the upper spine. 

Consider physical therapy also - poor posture means poor muscle support. If you strengthen your back muscles, your spine is supported, posture improves.

Liposuction for buffalo hump is usually very rewarding

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The localized fat deposit on the upper back is referred to as a buffalo hump. It is a dense collection of fat under the skin. Damage to your bones or spine will not occur if liposuction is performed correctly. There is a distinct muscle layer between the fat space and the underlying bones and spine. I believe the safest way to have liposuction is awake with local tumescent anesthesia. Only the fat space to be suctioned is numb. When there is a buffalo hump present, suctioning is a very rewarding way to improve it.

Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Buffalo Hump Reduction

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This is a common and quick procedure that is almost always performed under local anesthesia with light sedation.  In this setting it is very safe and the risk for spinal injury is close to 0% since you are able to communicate with the surgeon about comfort level.  

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Liposuction of the Buffalo Hump

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The Buffalo Hump is usually associated with medications, frequently ones that treat AIDS, or genetics. It is almost impossible for an experienced, board certified surgeon to damage the spine through liposuction of the Buffalo Hump. If you wish to learn more about options specific to your case you can schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon that will be able to lay out a treatment plan for you and answer any other questions you may have.


Jaime Perez, MD
Liposuction Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Spine injury after liposuction

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Thank you for the question. These are valid concerns and the answer is;  liposuction should not affect your spine and should not cause paralysis. The procedure should be done by an experienced surgeon. You have to do your homework in searching for the right surgeon.good luck

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Buffalo hump liposuction

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Liposuction is my treatment of choice for buffal hump because it leaves a small scar and is a minimally invasive procedure. Unfortunately, it is not covered by insurance. It Is safe when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon in an accredited facility; anesthesia options depend upon whetherbthe lipoma is submuscular or subcutaneous and its size.

Liposuction of the 'buffalo hump' is a safe procedure when performed by an experienced Plastic Surgeon

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Liposuction of the Buffalo Hump is a safe procedure when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon.  If you do have excess fat in that area, it can certainly be liposuctioned.  It is important to make sure that the 'hump' is because of excessive fat an not your posture which will not benefit from the liposuction.
Is there a risk to the spine?  Once again a skilled and careful board certified plastic surgeon should not have problems perfuming this procedure safely.
Martin Jugenburg, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

SmartLipo or Ultrasonic Liposculpture of the "buffalo hump" provides a dramatic improvement

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Thank you for your question.  This is an area that I have treated, under local aneasthesia and tumescent fomula, many times with excellent results and extremely high patient satisfaction.  The skin usually retracts very nicely and skin tightening can be further increased by the use of SmartLipo (laser).  Some patients still chose UAL.    With SL you can return to work / full activities the next day.  You should contact a PS in your area and see them for a consultation to see if this is an option you would like to persue as it is an area that is not very responsive to diet and exercise.

Scott Barr, MD
Sudbury Plastic Surgeon

Reduction of the Buffalo Hump by Liposuction

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Liposuction of the buffalo hump deformity is a perfectly safe procedure and poses no risk of injury to the spine. The question is how effective it will be. That depends on the fat thickness and the curvature of the cervical spine. An examination will determine is this is a good option.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.