Can A Buffalo Hump Be Removed By Liposuction?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I am a 50 year old woman and am fairly thin being 5’3″ and weigh 117lbs. I have had what I think is fat on the back of my neck for as long as I can remember. It looks like a buffalo hump and it runs in my family. I have exercised all my life and continue to this very day. I have always been concerned about my posture so this buffalo hump is quite disturbing. I HATE IT! I have had liposuction on my stomach and thighs but no doctor seems to want to address my neck problem. I have had xrays and I do have a greater curve in my upper back than most people. Looking at me from the front my posture is impressive, but when I turn to the side it looks thick like there is a flap of thick fibrous fat. I can grab and feel it. I am self-conscious about wearing my hair up. Now blouses do not fit properly and often I have to alter clothes for them to fit. Please, I hope that you can help me.

A:  Buffalo humps on the back of neck are almost always collections of fat. Why you have it there in an otherwise thin person who is very active is unknown. Seeing that your relatives have it indicates that it is genetic in origin and not from one’s lifestyle. An attempt at liposuction would certainly seem to be worthwhile. The fat in the buffalo hump is different than that in other  body areas being more fibrous and not pure fat. This is why an open excision is the most effective approach but the midline scar may not be worth it. I would recommend laser liposuction (Smartlipo) as a better liposuction technique in fibrofatty areas. 

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana