Appointments: 713.800.6060 contact Contact Us

Buffalo Hump Removal

What Is a Buffalo Hump?

“Buffalo hump”—sometimes referred to as a “hunchback”—is a term used to describe a noticeable accumulation of fat found at the base of the neck between the shoulders. In extreme cases, these fat deposits may grow and expand toward the ears and continue on to the front portion of the neck. There are many reasons that a buffalo hump may develop, and diagnostic analysis by an experienced physician can help determine the origins of the fatty buildup.

For men and women who are bothered by a buffalo hump or hunchback, Houston plastic surgeon James F. Boynton, MD is often able to surgically correct the profile of the upper back. Using specialized liposuction techniques, Dr. Boynton can considerably reduce or remove the problematic fat and fibrous tissue to create a leaner, more desirable aesthetic with natural-looking results.

For more about buffalo hump neck deformity and the surgical approaches Dr. Boynton can use to treat its appearance, we invite you to explore the informative sections provided below. If you are considering plastic surgery to remove a buffalo hump, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with our experienced plastic surgeon.

Causes of Buffalo Hump Neck Deformity

There are many reasons that extra fat may gather in the upper back, forming a buffalo hump. A dorsocervical fat pad, as it is called medically, can be the result of:

  • Certain health conditions
  • Medications
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Obesity
  • Poor posture and osteoporosis
  • Injury
  • Genetics
  • Spinal abnormalities

Prior to cosmetic treatment, determining the cause of a buffalo hump and eliminating the possibility of serious medical conditions, such as Cushing’s Disease and spinal abnormalities, is often recommended. During your consultation with Dr. Boynton, he will review your medical history and determine whether or not aesthetic surgery will be suitable for achieving the results you desire.

Benefits of Buffalo Hump Removal

In addition to creating a more aesthetically pleasing upper back and lower neck contour, removing or reducing the prominence of a buffalo hump may alleviate neck and back discomfort often associated with the condition. Furthermore, full neck mobility may also be restored for patients with restricted neck movement caused by excess tissue. When the fat pad extends along the jawline toward the front portion of the neck, surgical fat removal and/or tissue excision techniques can smooth and recontour the affected areas for a leaner look.

Candidates for Buffalo Hump Removal

Patients who are well-suited for surgical buffalo hump removal or reduction are generally considered to be in good overall health and have the ability to heal properly after surgery. If a lifestyle change or prescription medication adjustment may lessen the prominence of the hump, it is important that patients try these more conservative methods before resorting to surgery.

Only a consultation with Dr. Boynton will provide you with a definitive answer about whether or not you are a good candidate for surgical treatment. During your appointment, he will perform a thorough examination, discuss your medical history, review any medications you are on, take x-rays of the upper back, and listen to your concerns and expectations. Once Dr. Boynton has a solid understanding of your health status and the composition of your hump, he will be able to make a determination as to whether liposuction, excision, or a combination of surgical techniques can be successful in creating a natural-looking result.

Buffalo Hump Removal with Liposuction

For the majority of Dr. Boynton’s buffalo hump patients, neck liposuction is the most appropriate technique for creating an ideal outcome. Generally, neck liposuction can be performed using just local anesthesia, which reduces the chances of potential complications from general anesthesia. For some patients, though, Dr. Boynton may decide to use general anesthesia. The liposuction cannula can be inserted through very small incisions that leave minimal residual scarring behind once the healing process is complete.

Before your procedure, Dr. Boynton will discuss all pre-operative care and explain how your procedure will be performed. He will also provide you with detailed information about the recovery process so that you know what to expect at every stage of treatment. In some cases, Dr. Boynton may opt to perform a second liposuction procedure at a later date to fine-tune your results and achieve optimal aesthetics. Because the skin is quite thick in the upper back/neck region and the fat can be quite fibrous, Dr. Boynton utilizes specialized lipocannulas to encourage better shape, contour the region, and facilitate more skin shrinkage. He feels it’s important to be a bit more aggressive in this area of the body to achieve the best possible outcome. Although there are some physicians who may opt to employ an “open technique”, Dr. Boynton prefers to approach this area in a minimally invasive way so as to avoid scarring.

Recovery from Buffalo Hump Removal

Recovery after buffalo hump removal varies depending upon the technique that was used during surgery. Liposuction patients generally recover quickly and are able to return to their usual activities about a week after surgery. Sometimes drains may be necessary to ensure to aid in proper healing.

Once fully healed, Dr. Boynton’s patients are often thrilled with the natural-looking results they achieve. Their more confident posture tends to boost self-esteem and create a healthier appearance. Many patients report that Dr. Boynton’s experience, surgical skill, and patient-centric philosophy are tremendous advantages throughout treatment.

If you are considering surgical treatment for your buffalo hump, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Boynton.