A buffalo hump is a disfigurement that is more than embarrassing; it can sometimes limit the ability of a person to extend the head and neck, causing them to keep their head in a flexed downward position. Depending on the severity, this cosmetic issue can make it difficult to walk upright or find clothes that fit properly.
What is a buffalo hump? It is an area of subcutaneous fat deposits in the upper neck and back which can be painful and firm to the touch.
Luckily, this condition can be successfully treated so that the back and neck are restored to normal function, range of motion, and appearance.
At H/K/B, our surgeons have considerable experience correcting buffalo humps for our patients. This type of surgery is not done by many practices, so we are pleased to be able to offer it for those who need it.
The treatment usually involves a type of liposuction to remove the fatty tissue from the area. Different methods of liposuction can be used depending on the case.
What can buffalo hump treatment do for me?
Treatment removes the hump, restoring a smooth contour to the back and neck. This will allow you to hold your neck in a normal and proper position.
What can I expect during surgery for a buffalo hump?
Buffalo hump surgery can usually be performed on an outpatient basis at our fully accredited surgical facility on our beautiful campus, where our highly qualified nurses will pamper you. Our nurses are certified in advanced cardiac life support, which ensures the highest level of supervision, evaluation, and care in the unlikely event of an emergency. We also work with board-certified anesthesiologists.
Because the procedure is best performed with the patient in the prone position, a brief general anesthetic is recommended to protect the patient’s airway and to offer maximum comfort.
Based on the clinical examination findings conducted during your consultation, various modalities of liposuction will be employed. The most commonly used modalities include ultrasonic liposuction, laser-assisted liposuction or SmartLipo, tumescent liposuction, /or power-assisted liposuction.
In most cases, incisions are made, and a small tube called a cannula is inserted. The tube is attached to a vacuum-like device that suctions the fatty tissue out of the body. In the case of SmartLipo, a laser device is used for a less invasive method that provides a faster recovery time. This technique is only appropriate for some patients depending on the condition of the hump.
How long does it take to recover from surgery?
Recovery time is usually 1-2 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for 4-6 weeks.
Post-operative discomfort, bruising, and swelling is usually mild, and most patients find that using an ice pack over the treated area can make it dramatically more comfortable. Adequate pain medications are given as well, however.
If the treated area was very large, a suction drainage catheter may have to be left in the incisions for a few days after surgery, but this does not usually interfere with showering. Most patients can shower the first day after surgery. The catheter will then be removed on one of your follow-up visits, during which we will monitor your healing progress.
How long does buffalo hump treatment last?
Buffalo hump treatment is usually long lasting. It is unlikely that the condition will recur.