Can Liposuction of a Buffalo Hump Risk Injury To My Spine?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I want to have my buffalo hump liposuction along with my neck done at the same time. As I have gotten older the buffalo hump and bad posture have made my spine curve a bit. The hump is really visible 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 paralyze or injury my spinal cord in any way?

A: The buffalo hump is a collection of fat that appears above the fascial covering of the muscle. It is a subcutaneous collection that is far away from the deeply located spinal cord which is under the muscle. Also remember that the spinal cord is encased by protective bony vertebrae besides being deep to the muscle. Therefore, there is no chance of vertebral or spinal cord injury with liposuction surgery to the buffalo hump fatty deformity. The type of fat that is in the buffalo hump is also a more firm or fibrofatty tissue that can be more difficult to extract than softer fat like that in the stomach. For this reason, the use of advanced technology, like Smartlipo, may be more effective in the loosening or melting of the fat prior to suction extraction.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana