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tosillectomy- what will it do to my T cells?
Apr 22, 2001

How will a proposed tonsillectomy affect my T-cells and/or viral load? T's around 220 and V/L is under 2000.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Great question. The tonsils are part of the lymph node system. There have been at least 4 studies published in which investigators looked at the effect of removing lymph nodes, tonsils, or spleen (an organ which resembles a large lymph node) on CD4 cells. In each of these studes, there were NO deleterious effects. The viral loads did NOT increase. The CD4 counts did NOT decrease. In fact, in some of these studies, the CD4 cells went up because the lymph nodes/spleen could no longer serve as a trap for CD4 cells. Investigators also looked as to whether such surgeries will bring on full blown AIDS in a patient who is so far only HIV positive. These surgeries did NOT bring on full blown AIDS. So my advice to you, if you surgeon feels you should have your tonsils out, is to go for it. Hope this helps. BD.


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