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breast reduction and hiv
Feb 9, 2003

I am a 33 y/o female.Have had hiv for almost 8 years always with undetectable levels and t-cells count of over a 1000.My concern is that I have large breasts (36 DD).They are very painful before, during and after menstruation.I've thinking about breast reduction but don't have any information on how surgery would affect my inmune system or viceversa.What is your opinion on optional surgery for hiv patients?

Response from Dr. Aberg

There are many factors to take into consideration regarding risks of surgery. I am going to assume that you have no other risks for having this surgery (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, etc). The stage of HIV disease does play a role in calculating surgical risks. Individuals with more advanced disease such as low CD4 T-cell counts may not heal as well and are at risk of developing post-operative wound infections. Given your high T-cell count, you should not have an above expected complication rate so I would say that your HIV should not play a major factor in deciding if you want/need this surgery.

One question comes to mind, which is whether you have always had large breasts or is this a complication of being on HIV therapy? If you have always had large breasts, this surgery is very successful and most women I know are very gald they had it performed. If you have had breast enlargement due to side effects of the HIV medications then there is the chance that your breasts will become large again after the surgery over time.

Is it risky to have a baby?

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