What is Back Liposuction?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2019
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Back liposuction is a type of liposuction procedure specifically aimed at removing deposits of subcutaneous body fat from the back. Like other liposuction procedures, surgeons typically perform back liposuction by numbing the area with a topical anesthetic, and then inserting a cannula into the fatty deposit via a small incision. Surgeons then usually vacuum the fat out. Back liposuction procedures and results may vary depending on where the back fat is located, and how much fat will need to be removed. Cosmetic surgeons generally identify five different types of fatty accumulation common to the back, because fat tends to accumulate differently in these five areas, which can require some variation in liposuction techniques.

The cervico-dorsal hump, or buffalo hump, may be the fatty accumulation of the back most associated with obesity. The buffalo hump causes fat to accumulate over the mid and upper back. A standard liposuction procedure is typically used to remove this type of fatty accumulation. While the procedure is usually effective, patients generally run the risk of re-gaining this weight without substantial lifestyle changes addressing the underlying obesity.


Infra scapular fat is a type of back fat usually found in women. It can normally be found between the waist and shoulder blades. Some women develop fatty deposits in this area due to a genetic predisposition. Infra scapular fat deposits can grow quite large, and the fatty tissue typically also contains large amounts of tough, fibrous connective tissue. A procedure known as tumescent liposuction, which uses micro-cannulas to penetrate the often excessively thick layers of fat found in this area, is considered the preferred type of liposuction for infra scapular fat deposits.

Posterior axillary fat, another type of fatty deposit of the back, can usually be found on the shoulder blades, close to the armpits. Posterior waist fat, the fatty deposits commonly known as love handles, are usually found just above the hips. The back fat that can accumulate just about the tail bone is generally known as the lumbo-sacral fat pad. Standard liposuction procedures are usually used to perform back liposuction on these areas. Some cosmetic surgeons may prefer ultrasonic liposuction, though this procedure can carry a higher risk of injury to the skin and may be more likely to lead to serious complications. Most surgeons prefer the tumescent liposuction procedure, using micro-cannulas, for all back liposuction surgeries, as it is generally most effective and carries lower risks.


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