Will Zeltiq Work for Buffalo Hump?

I posed a question earlier regarding if liposuction would work for a buffalo hump. I am nervous about surgery and was wondering if the new zeltiq technique would work for buffalo hump?? Also, is there a risk for fat embolism after this technique. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Buffalo Hump Reduction Best Treatment

In the correct surgical hands, the Buffalo Hump is very easily removed with liposuction techniques. I have performed this procedure many times and it's always very rewarding and successful. It's performed in the office, only one 2 mm incision required, under local anesthesia, no labs required, typically no medical clearance needed, and practically no downtime.  

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

CoolSculpting Buffalo Hump

This area is challenging to treat with CoolSculpting because most of the applicators need to be able to suction the tissue into the hand pieces. This area more than likely does not have pliable tissue that will allow the applicator to effectively work. There is a flat applicator that may work, and it is called CoolSmooth. It is best to have a consultation in person to evaluate the area of concern and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

CoolSculpting for a buffalo hump

The expectation is that CoolSculpting would not work as well as liposuction for a buffalo hump as it is fibrous (more collagen) usually in this area.  Furthermore, the large size of some would preclude a good fit in the currently available applicators. I don't see any reason to imagine a higher chance of pulmonary or fat emboli from this procedure.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Coolsculpting for Buffalo Hump

Thank you for your question.

It is difficult to say without examining you.. the area would have to be able to be drawn into the applicator and the suction will need to be able to stay on the area for an hour.  Most patients I have seen with the Buffalo Hump present with the area being quite firm and probably not able to get the CoolSculpting Handpiece onto the area.  The best thing to do is to go and have an in person examination to see if your case would be different.

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Zeltiq for buffalo hump


What limits the ability of Zeltiq to effectively treat certain areas, like a buffalo hump for instance, is two main things. First, the contour of the area it is trying to attach to. Clearly, we must be able to get the handpiece to attach and maintain suction. Secondly, not only must the apllicator attach but it must be able to suck enough fat into the applicator to freeze it.  The more fat can get suctioned into the chamber the better the end result.  If the area you're concerned with is relatively firm (which many buffalo humps are) then it would be difficult to get an adequate amount of tissue into the applicator. As for fat embolism, I don't see that ther ewould be any risk and I have definitely not heard of any cases.

Good luck~

Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq for Buffalo Hump Fat

Currently the limitations of Cool Sculpting are related to the size and configuration of the applicators that are place on the part of the body being treated. There is nothing specific about the buffalo hump fat that would prevent it from being diminished, though the result would not be as complete as with liposuction. As more applicators are developed we will be able to treat more areas of the body. There should be no risk of fat embolism with Cool Sculpting.

Leo Keegan, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Coolsculpting works for localized fat

"Buffalo hump" is caused by a variety of reasons. Coolsculpting works for localized fat that is easy to pull away and place in coolsculpting chamber.  I am not aware of any reliable studies that have demonstrated it's effectiveness for this Buffalo Hump and my concern is that it wil not significantly address this problem.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Zeltiq will work on Buffalo Hump if it can attach

Zeltiq will work on fat where it can attach.  I'm not optimistic it can work there for you.  My suggestion is to do an attachment with the handpiece without turning on the cooling to see if it will be effective.  There have been no cases of embolism after the Zeltiq.  There are more handpieces coming in the future which might work if the current ones don't.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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.