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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Hump and breasts, I want surgery!
Mar 18, 2005

I am 36 years old man, HIV+ for 8 years now, 200 lbs, and full of life. I am taking Ziagen, Epivir and Viramune. Never during my treatment have I needed anti-depresants (thank you God!). But I am suffering from fat re-destribution around my breast and back (the so called buffalo hump). I work in a medical enviroment and around doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. and 3-4 times a week I've encountered in my own department the main ID doctor of my medical facility. I've heard he is a very good HIV doctor. I feel very embarassed when I come accross him because he has noticed my hump and breast enlargement over the years. I want to know how safe is to have them surgically removed via liposuction? I have a normal life such snowboarding, camping, dancing, movies and enjoying the compamy of my 2 teenagers but lately I want to stay home because I think people will make fun of my breast and hump. Please advise me about the safety of liposuction in HIV patients. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Conway

Liposuction is certainly safe, the issue is whether it works in the long-term. Rather than focus on a specific procedure, I might advise you to find a surgeon in your area who works with surgial correction of lipodystrophy and has dealt with patients like yourself. Go visit with that surgeon and seek out their nest recommendation for a person such as yourself. Be sure to take a look at the short and long-term results that surgeon has obtained (most will be happy to show you this). After this, make up your mind. Good luck with this important decision and congratulations on your otherwise full life with HIV.

Thank you!

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