Sep 10, 1999
My brother has severe anemia requring transfusions (2 - 3 units at a time)once a week. Also has required one transfusion of platelets. He has also been diagnosed with KS that is in his lungs and possibly other organs. Doctors have determined after a bone marrow aspiration showed healthy marrow - that his spleen was the culprit and would need to be removed. Two questions - he is in a very weakened condition (hospitalized) How will he tolerate surgery or the treatment for KS with all blood counts suppressed, heart rate of 140, high blood sugar from TPN (being treated with insulin) and a weight loss of 20 pounds in the past 10 days? He has T-cell count of less than 10 - his viral load I'm not sure of - but obviously it's way up there! Thanks for any information you can give.
Response from Mr. Molaghan
The spleen is frequently the culprit that sometimes "turns against the body" in many people with HIV, and actually destroys blood cells and platelets, as part of a hyper immune and autoimmune response, and it sometimes becomes necessary to remove it surgically. The fact that your brother has hypertension and a relatively low immune reserve is worrisome, and may increase his surgical risk, but doesn't preclude the idea especially if (1). He feels physically endurant and can handle the challenge and (2) if he is advised (and believes) that the outcome of the surgery will improve the quality of his life. You might also want to submit this question to The Body's Treatment Forum.
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