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New Surgery for Facial Wasting In HIV Patients
  Montefiore Medical Center Study Cites Long-Term Quality of Life Benefits For Large Number of HIV-positive Patients
NEW YORK, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Montefiore Medical Center (MMC) researchers have developed the first known, long-lasting surgical solution for facial wasting in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Approximately 50 percent of patients with HIV experience a condition known as HIV lipodystrophy syndrome, which includes facial wasting and a characteristic gaunt appearance, after treatment with highly active antiviral therapy (HAART).
HAART is the most effective therapy to treat HIV/AIDS known today and is used by many of the 1 million patients with HIV in the US to prevent the onset of acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome (AIDS). To date, all cosmetic solutions for HAART-induced facial wasting have been short term.
"This new, long-lasting cosmetic surgery is a great boon to the quality of life and self-esteem of patients with HIV, most of whom live long lives today because of improved treatment," said Berish Strauch, M.D., chairman, Plastic Surgery, MMC, who is presenting his findings on May 7, 2003 at the Association of Plastic Surgeons annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. In a study of five patients with HIV, Dr. Strauch found that a graft of the deep layer of skin and its attached fat, called dermafat, can be transferred from the abdomen to the cheeks of patients to correct the wasting look -- and the benefits have lasted up to two-and-a-half years. "The correction after three to five months is stable, dramatic and lasting through the lengthy follow-up period," said Dr. Strauch.
Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is an internationally recognized leader in patient care, education, research and community services. Located in the Bronx, Montefiore provides treatment programs for patients with all major illnesses and has distinguished centers of excellence in heart care, cancer care, children's health, women's health and surgery.
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