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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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off beat question
Jun 22, 2002

I've decided to undergo plastic surgery(lipo)for fat accumultion in the love handle/lower ab/upper thigh area.Both my doctor and I agree that this accumulation is the result of long term antiviral therapy.He's fine with my having liposuction.My health is very good,however my appearence is not.So I have two questions that I will also pose to the surgeon.Since the fat cells are removed through liposuction is there a chance that areas that were depleted by probably zerit some time ago will fill in or will I just "grow"back new fat cells in these problem areas? I know in normal situations once the fat cells are sucked out,it shouldn't return as long as you do your part with diet and exercise.(Which I've been doing for years)But since meds is the problem(not my personal habits)and lipo is so poorly understood, will my meds cause new fat cells to grow back once they are removed?I thought you are born with a predetermined number of fat cells and how you 'inflate them 'has to do with personal habits.The other issue I have is I lost most of my hair from medication(I'm one of the small number that is unfortunately sensitive to all antivirals from that standpoint)and it has an inpact on the hair that is left on my body in the respect that the hair on my legs etc. grows really really slow(I can go a month without shaving)I'm afraid that this means I will heal very slowly from surgery also, thus opening the door for complications.What do you think?

Response from Dr. Henry

Patients of mine that have undergone liposuction or other forms of fat excision have periodically had to undergo the procedure again as long as they were on the same type of HIV therapy. The rate seems to vary. Where that additional fat comes from is a good question that I don't have an anwer to. Healing after surgery is generally excellent in HIV patients. KH

HIV killing me via HDL cholesterol
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