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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
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Is Surgery Indicated for Llipomas?
May 24, 2000

I've been HIV+ for nearly 15 years, have been on all the HAART meds, and am currently undetectable. I have developed classic signs of fat redistribution over the past three years which has been distressing. This includes numerous lipomas all over my body, increased abdominal fat, an increasing buffalo hump, lean muscle loss, and significant facial wasting. In conjunction with increasing my exercise and consulting with a nutritionist, my nurse practitioner and I have changed my meds all around during this time in an attempt to slow or stop the progression of this problem, to no avail. Recently, I started using Serostim (going on 4 weeks now) with the hope that this might help. The Serostim has certainly helped to rebuild lean muscle, but I haven't seen any changes in the fat redistribution. Of course, the drug rep for Serostim says I need to stay on the drug for at least 3 months to see results (and make the drug company even more profitable) . I'll keep you updated. But, I was it possible to have the lipomas surgically removed, even though I know they'll probably return? I can't stand see my body becomming all full of bumps.

Response from Dr. Fisher

Sure lipomas can be removed ...fairly easily in fact. Many people without HIV have lipomas and have them surgically removed. Recurrence may or may not occur. By the way the serostim should not be making any recommendations because serostim is not approved for this use (though it can be prescribed for fat accumulation or any indication your doctor might suggest). And we don't know how long you may need to stay on serostim in any case. Alvan Fisher, M.D.

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