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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Surgery for Facial Wasting
Apr 28, 2004

I'm in Atlanta. I have facial wasting due to HIV that is causing me tremendous stress. Several plastic surgeons have suggested injectibles, but it seems they all dissolve. One doctor suggested surgery, actually cutting out the nasal labial fold -- like taking darts in my face. What is your opinion of this?

Response from Dr. Conway

I am not a big fan of surgery that is potentially disfiguring and that does not have a proven track record.

First, I would want to make sure that you are not taking anything that would cause this to worsen. If you are on HAART, I would want to look at having you on a regimen that minimizes the risk of wasting.

In terms of treatment, I would try to find someone who has had some injectables or other treatment that has worked and produced durable results (perhaps through your local AIDS community group) and see what they did. This would give you a starting point for what you might consider for yourself.

Good luck...

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