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Author Topic: 25 years positive and docs are surgery happy? Don't get it?  (Read 2025 times)

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Offline jm1953

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25 years positive and docs are surgery happy? Don't get it?
« on: September 09, 2012, 10:13:03 PM »
This may belong in the long term Survivor thread, but may be applicable to all of us no matter what stage we are in HIV/AIDS,  In the past four years it seems a majority of the specialists I see, whether it be a hand doctor for pain, ENT doc for sinus, Vascular for venous reflux and leg pain, or Orthapedic for disc erosion, all want to do surgery.  My internists and HIV docs suggest only doing surgeries if life threatening at this point because my recovery and healing would take so long.  Most of these problems I have taken care of myself through Homeopathic, Eastern Medicine, and Pain Medication.  Why subject yourself to surgeries you can manage when you really don't have a full life span to work with?  My opinion anyway?

Maybe it's all about the money.  Just don't think docs are completely aware that quality of life is our main goal as long termers, not recovering from surgeries that can be managed through pain meds and homeopathic, acupuncture and such.  I will give specialists the benefit of the doubt as they may have limited knowledge of the complications of HIV. Alot of the side effects of our meds mimic conditions they want to do surgery on, even if it is short term.

I don't know,  Just frustrated I guess.  Anyone else experiencing this or have comments?


Positive 29 years. Diagnosed 10/1987.  Current CD 4: 720: Viral load: almost 100.  Current drug regimen, Tivicay, Emtriva, Endurant, Wellbutrin, Clonazepam, Uloric, Losartan Potassium,Allegra, Ambien, Testosterone, Nandrolone, Vicodin, Benedryl, Aspirin, lots of vitamin supplements.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: 25 years positive and docs are surgery happy? Don't get it?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 11:18:18 PM »
Any time a doctor recommends surgery I would definitely think about the pros and cons of it , maybe even get a second opinion but with your CD4 count and undetectable status you are perfectly able to heal from a surgery as well as any . I am also thinking with your lab numbers you may want to consider the fact you may be around to enjoy a full life span .

If your trying to say alternative treatments have worked well for you then I would say do what works , but I wouldn't base my decision not to have a surgery on the premise that because you are living with HIV you haven't time or the ability to heal from a surgical procedure .

I'm seeing an ENT next week for chronic sinus problems and I'm actually wishing with all my being that a surgery can put an end to this because nothing else has worked in 12 years of dealing with it . 
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Offline Buckmark

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Re: 25 years positive and docs are surgery happy? Don't get it?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 01:01:07 PM »
Just don't think docs are completely aware that quality of life is our main goal as long termers, not recovering from surgeries that can be managed through pain meds and homeopathic, acupuncture and such.

I think that different people have different opinions on quality of life.  For some, it might mean having surgery, so that these other tools and methods used to manage health problems are no longer necessary.  Others like yourself do not want surgery.  Your CD4 and viral load numbers look great, so I would think that surgery is an option for you.  But it is something you should discuss with your doctor, and ultimately it is your decision.

That said, these ailments come on partly just because we long time survivors are getting older, like everyone else.  In my experience doctors don't usually recommend surgery lightly.  But I'm sure there are some out there who do.  A second opinion is often helpful.


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Offline harleymc

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Re: 25 years positive and docs are surgery happy? Don't get it?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 02:24:04 AM »
Surgeons like cutting, that's why they become surgeons. On the other hand surgery can bring benefits so there's no reason to rule it out.

I've had three operations since sero-converting. One of the operations predated AZT. Recovery was no harder for me than anyone else. I was very vigilant about hospital staff washing their hands & gloving up before changing my dressings, a bit gobsmacking but true that a lot of health workers forget infection control.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: 25 years positive and docs are surgery happy? Don't get it?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 11:24:00 AM »
I've had three major surgical procedures performed within a span of 8 months -- two foot surgeries and one nasal surgery. I'm just now recovering fully from the last foot surgery (as in physical therapy). Ideally it would have been easier on me mentally to have spaced them out, but it couldn't be helped.

In terms of this thread it's very difficult to evaluate your situation as I was not sitting with you at each medical appointment, but in my case each specialist presented surgery as an option, though in the nasal case because recovery is rather short it was presented as the preferable solution over the long-term. And it solved my sleep apnea issue, so effectively I do not have to sleep with a CPAP machine, and frankly that sounds like a great deal to me.

The foot surgeries... well, what can I say. Anything with your foot basically sucks chunks and I won't sugarcoat these. Healing isn't quick, regardless of HIV, so it would suck for anyone. So that issue simply varies according to the procedure.

Sure, age factors into the decision making process here, but you are 59, not 75. I am 47, so I am not going to speculate what I would do in my situation if I had been almost 60.
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Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: 25 years positive and docs are surgery happy? Don't get it?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 10:35:05 PM »
I just know that I avoided it, totally hip replacement surgery, for years until I could only lay in bed in pain and I decided to I had to get it done for I was bound to my bed otherwise.  Now i can walk with walker but it will take a while to fully recover.  Months I expect...  My doc knew of my HIV and took it into account and I felt comfortable going through with it.  Just to let you know it was hell to deal with the pain of the wound, but the pain of the bone spurs was worst.  Walking is difficult, stairs are worst, but I am getting rehab and I have faith that I will be just as good as before.  Or at least I hope so.

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