Will Abdominal Liposuction Help With Back Pain And A Spinal Deformity?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a male that has Scheuermann’s Disease and would like to know if having abdominal liposuction may help relieve some of the discomfort and strain from my back and neck? It makes sense to me since less fat would mean less strain Your thoughts on this?

A: I know of no medical evidence that supports abdominal liposuction as providing symptomatic or preventative benefits with this form of spinal issue. (kyphosis) Having said that perhaps if the abdomen was big enough and the liposuction of sufficient volume that there could be some potential benefit. However, most of abdominal fat in men is intraperitoneal and is not treatable by liposuction extraction. That is a fundamental difference between men and women in their abdominal fat distribution and shape.

Thus I am not sure if liposuction alone would produce an adequate relief of the abdominal ‘load’ that would translate into some form of back pain relief or prevention of further spinal kyphosis. It would make more sense to me that an abdominal panniculectomy would have such back benefits since removing an overhanging and heavy pannus is known to reduce lower back strain due to its size and the pulling on the trunk from hanging down below the waistline.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana