ZocdocAnswersWhat could be causing excess of fat and puffiness around my neck?

Question

What could be causing excess of fat and puffiness around my neck?

I'm not over weight but I for some reason have excess fat and puffiness around my neck and chin. I haven't always had this, I would say it started devolping around 3rd grade and hasn't gone away since. I am now 19yrs old (female, 5' 7", 160lbs) and I am so sick of having this. It's embarassing. No one seems to know what it is. Every doctor I've seen over the years automatically assumes it's a thyroid issue but I have been checked for that 4 times in the past 6yrs (3 times by blood test and once by ultrasound). Does anyone have ANY idea what this might be. A food allergy? Stress? Anything????

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have excess fat and puffiness around your neck, and that it sounds like you have seen multiple different people for this, but no one is able to give you a good explanation of what is going on, or what to do about it. I am happy to give you some of my initial thoughts about what might be going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment to be evaluated by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician or a facial plastic surgeon. They will be able to take more of a medical history and examine you, which is ultimately I you need to get the most accurate diagnosis possible. I doubt that the swelling or fullness in your neck is either a food allergy or related to stress (which you have mentioned). Judging by the fact that you have seen multiple different physicians, and they all think that you might have a thyroid disorder, I am assuming that it is your central neck that has some swelling. A CT scan might give more information, but often times a thorough physician exam can be sufficient. It is possible that you just have a large deposit of subdermal adipose (fat) in your neck which would be obvious on physical exam. If this were the case, then something such as liposuction might be adequate to remove some of the fat and sculpt your neck appropriately. I wish you all the best and hope you get the answers that you want.

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