STEROID, DISEASE, MEDICATION-INDUCED BUFFALO HUMP, OR UPPER BACK
SUBCUTANEOUS FAT DEFORMITY:
A buffalo hump is a
subcutaneous area of fat deposit in the upper neck and back. This
can be quite disfiguring and can lead to contour deformities. When
the severity worsens it can even limit the ability of a person to extend
their head and neck, and they must keep their head in a flexed downward
position. Various disease states such as Cushing's disease and
other disease states are notorious for causing this buffalo hump.
The tissue in the buffalo hump is composed of a fibrous subcutaneous
fatty tissue that can be painful and is firm to the touch. There
are many medications that can cause this as well. Prolonged
steroid use for a variety of disease states such as chronic arthritis,
asthma, and other abnormalities is frequently associated with the
development of a buffalo hump. In addition, it can be associated
with the development of a moon face. The
patients who have HIV/AIDS frequently take medications that are
effective in treating their disease, but as a side effect, can result in
the formation of a buffalo hump.
individuals the buffalo hump can be successfully treated. A very
thorough liposuction of this region can significantly and dramatically
reduce the excess fat in this region and flatten this buffalo hump.
For patients who have lost range of motion because of the fullness of
the back, it can be a great relief to again be able to fully extend the
head and neck and walking in a perfectly upright manner. For
patients who have the slight bulge, it is of great concern to them.
Liposuction can thoroughly remove the fat in this area and restore to
them a smooth even contour that allows for normal clothing to be worn.
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-smart lipo, tumescent liposuction, and power-assisted
liposuction. If this area is very large, a suction drainage
catheter may be required for a few days, but this usually does not
interfere with showering, which is almost always possible the first day
after surgery. Because the best position to have the procedure
conducted is in the prone position, a brief general anesthetic is
recommended to protect your airway and to offer maximum comfort.
The recovery is straightforward after treatment of this area. The
discomfort is usually mild and most patients find that ice bag over this
area can make this dramatically comfortable, but adequate pain
medications are given for this.