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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007 Dec;120(7):1843-58.

Surgical algorithm for management of HIV lipodystrophy.

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Department of Plastic Surgery and Division of Infectious Disease, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.



The accepted standard for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus disease, highly active antiviral therapy, may cause significant side effects, such as facial lipoatrophy and lipodystrophy. Facial wasting or a buffalo hump deformity may be pathognomonic for treated human immunodeficiency virus disease. In addition to facial wasting, cystic parotid degeneration may further distort the face. The authors outline the defects as a series of triangles defined by anatomical boundaries.


In a group of 27 patients, 17 were treated for buffalo hump (three isolated and 14 with associated facial wasting). Another 10 patients were treated for isolated facial wasting.


The 14 patients who underwent liposuction of the buffalo hump with subsequent injection of the aspirate into the face had approximately 40 to 50 percent of the grafts survive. Recurrent or severely fibrous humps were treated with ultrasound-assisted liposuction. In six patients, autografts to the lypoatrophic face were utilized. Two patients undergoing gynecomastia reduction had successful grafting with the resected breast. Three patients with cystic degeneration of the parotid underwent superficial parotidectomy with rotation or grafting of the parotid into the defect, for a total of six individual procedures.


The authors present an algorithm for treatment of buffalo hump and facial wasting deformities associated with human immunodeficiency virus lipodystrophy syndrome, with an emphasis on long-term results with autogenous tissue.

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