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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
           
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Is Weight Loss Surgery a Good Idea?
Aug 10, 2001

I have been HIV+ for seven years. I've also been very healthy, and continue to be. I'm not currently medicated as my viral load is still only about 1,100. The thing is that I have also always been fat. Healthy and fat, my whole life.

I recently had to switch doctors and when I went in for my quarterly check, the doctor began pressing me about weight loss surgery, telling me I could halve my body weight, and possibly have better luck with pregnancies.

At this stage I am more worried about the HIV needing medication, and then wasting. Could elective surgery as invasive and as radical as gastrointestinal bypass REALLY be a good idea? I can't imagine voluntarily putting my already compromised system through that. Is there any evidence to suggest that this might be a good idea?

Response from Dr. Fisher

Tough question. I don't know of any info on wt loss surgery in a person with HIV. Your concerns seem very well founded to me. Also wt loss surgery is very difficult and associated with numerous nutritional problems post-op. Indeed the surgery works by forcing your body to starve. So I would be very wary of this in someone with HIV. AF


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