Hey guys, Sandra Lee, M.D. (aka Dr. Pimple Popper), here!

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TLC Dr. Pimple Popper Episode 3: Special Behind the Scenes Recap!

I hope you guys have been watching my TLC show! It’s been such a wild ride helping patients with all their mystery growths… this third episode was no exception! Here are some of my thoughts and a little behind the scenes info from the show this week… plus lots of pictures, of course! Make sure you watch the episode if you haven’t already!

Patient 1: Mary

Mary has a really interesting condition where she seems to only gain weight on one side of her body, and this was something that I had never seen before. It’s fascinating though, that’s for sure.

I did do some liposuction for Mary, which was helpful in the short term but unfortunately, it’s not a long-term fix for her. I didn’t do extensive liposuction for a couple of reasons, but mainly because the area where she wanted to have fat removed was just too large of an area to perform liposuction safely on during one single visit. Generally speaking, some people try to rely on liposuction as a quick fix, and I’m always wary of that.

Of course, we first needed to get to the bottom of what was going on with Mary.  I consulted with one of my mentors, Lucinda Buescher, MD, who’s a board certified dermatologist at SIU Dermatology in Illinois.

Once we were able to figure out that Mary’s condition wasn’t life-threatening, I wanted to talk with her about a diet and exercise plan. I would really love to see Mary make these lifestyle changes — I think that will make her feel like she has the power to take control of her life. I have a feeling that if she can somewhat control her weight, she will see a more symmetrical shape to her body.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know definitively what Mary has, and further genetic tests need to be done. These kinds of further gene studies will also potentially help us to figure out whether there are ways that she can control this one-sided weight gain without surgery. I’m really hopeful that she’ll see an expert in that area soon.

Patient 2: Anthony

As you guys could see from watching the episode, Anthony’s cyst was seriously affecting his confidence and his self-esteem.

But first, a little bit more about that triangle of death that I mentioned! Imagine drawing a line across your mouth, and then diagonal lines up from the corners of your mouth to the area right smack in between your eyebrows — this is the triangle of death. And behind this area, tucked under our brain, is what we call our cavernous sinus. It contains blood vessels that feed into our brains and the veins for our eyes. Basically, any infection that starts in this area has the risk of spreading to our cavernous sinus, which could cause swelling or blood clots or all sorts of other not-so-fun things.

This is probably part of the reason why those other doctors that Anthony saw were so hesitant to operate on his cyst — not only was it so close to his eye, but it’s right in that area where, if anything goes wrong, it can be a pretty major risk.

But I did feel, with all my experience, that I could successfully remove Anthony’s cyst. And let me tell you guys, it made me so happy to see Anthony’s personality change SO dramatically after surgery.

He went from being a person who didn’t really look at me in the eye very often to someone who was smiling and really engaging with me. Having that growth gone and seeing him so happy and confident was such a wonderful thing.

Here is Anthonys incision area right before I removed his stitches.

Patient 3: Shane

I love the bromance between Shane and his buddy Shawn… they’re like lipoma buddies in crime! It was great that I could help him to get BOTH of his friends off his back! 😂

That was one serious brain of a lipoma, that’s for sure.

A month after Shane’s surgery, I took a look at his scar. It was a little hypertrophic, which means it was raised and swollen. This can happen in this area of the back because it’s under such high tension. To help with the healing process, I injected the area with a little intralesional steroid injection, called Kenalog, which should help to flatten it down and make it look even better

Patient 4: Brandi

This lipoma on Brandi’s chest was quite the fighter! Isn’t it crazy how different her lipoma looks compared to Shane’s?!

It was definitely a tough operation. Part of the reason for that was because Brandy had never had any sort of surgery before, so she was pretty nervous. But it was also because her lump was in an area that was so close to her face.

It’s really hard to have a procedure like this on your upper chest, the patient truly has a front row seat to me poking and prodding and pulling, and this can be really disconcerting. But Brandy was a trooper, she persevered, there was no puking, and now she looks really great.

Love this picture I took right after surgery, look how flat that area is compared to before!

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