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Does surgery affect CD4 counts?
Mar 30, 2005

I recently had extensive surgery on my foot It included a transplant from a bone bank, the placement of two screws in my ankle and several other repairs. I've been in a cast for ten weeks. For the past two years my CD4's have stayed around 400 consistently. Several weeks after my surgery they fell to 275. I'm considering starting HAART based on the result (my VL is <2000) but wonder if the surgery could've affected the results and there's a possibility they will bounce back.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

It's not inconceivable to me that the stress of surgery could alter your CD4 counts transiently. Depending on the nature of your injury and surgery, these effects could persist for some time after the initial surgical event.

Before making too many plans on starting treatment, I'd advise you to have the CD4 count repeated; also take a look at the CD4 percentage. Has the % decreased too? If it hasn't there's probably not much to be concerned about- there is at least a pretty good chance that the absolute counts will return to your previous level.

Good luck, BY

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