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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
           
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Loose Skin From Losing Weight
Oct 12, 2003

I have been a long time sufferer of Lipodystrophy. I have watched my legs and arms shrink, leaving behind loose skin and visable veins. To top it off, the fat was redistrubuted and place inside my abdomen, leaving me a very attractive belly. Good news though, I recently went on a very strict diet and exercise program. My body has responded somewhat well with the pregnant belly subsiding. The negative side of my success is the loose skin is horrible. It also appears paper thin to me. Also, I do have some facial wasting. I am telling you this because I am hoping to get my insurance company to pay for cosmetic surgery to remove the loose skin. I was wondering if you could tell me some reasons that an insurance company might consider paying for it. They have already told me, it would never be for strictly cosmetic reasons, but for medical necessity only. Any suggestions with how to approach? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Moyle

I'm afraid I work in the National Health Service and have little/no experience of dealing with insurance company claims. In general, the majority of insurance policies do not cover cosmetic surgical procedures that are of a voluntary nature. That being said, you may be able to argue with your insurance company that the surgery is a necessary response to a consequence of treatment and your HIV infection. We have certainly been out to argue this with regards to some procedures to manage fat loss or fat accumulation within our UK service. Before you embark on surgery it is certainly worthwhile persisting with your exercise program, perhaps getting some dietary advice and talking to your position about whether there are any changes that can be made to your treatment or adjunctive therapies (such as growth hormone, rosiglitazone) which may be useful in restoring your fat.

It is good encouragement to other readers of this forum to hear that benefits can be gained from regular exercise. Keep it up!

Best wishes

Graeme Moyle


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