Dr. Sandra Lee has her work cut out for her as the Dr. Pimple Popper star takes on the "most extreme" case of eruptive xanthomas she's ever seen with a patient whose underlying health issues could make treatment dangerous. In a PopCulture.com exclusive sneak peek of the TLC show's brand new episode Wednesday, Lee meets with Robert, who has been dealing with bumps all over his body since he was a teenager.
"I've been dealing with this since I was 13," he tells Lee of the "cholesterol bumps" dotting his skin. "When I first got looked at when I was 13, they brought in a whole bunch of medical teams, took pictures, put me in medical books. I felt like a guinea pig like that." Inquiring about a biopsy, Lee asks Robert if the bump that was initially removed ever grew back.
"It did not grow back. It's a flat, just a tiny scar," he tells her as Lee inspects the area, which healed "pretty well" in her opinion. After taking a look at his condition, Lee knows exactly what's going on with Robert. "So first of all, this is called eruptive xanthomas," she tells him. "The high cholesterol, because it's in your blood vessels, it's sort of diffusing out and going into your skin, and then your skin is like collecting these little fat-laden cells. So that's what these are – and in a way, what is very fascinating [is] I haven't seen this and to this degree."
Lee continues to the camera, "Wow, this is the most extreme case of eruptive xanthomas that I've ever seen. Essentially what's happening is that you have such high levels of cholesterol, it's popping out of your skin. So all of these areas, they are filled with cholesterol." There are issues that come with treating this condition, however. "A person with this many xanthomas most likely has some internal medical problems and that can present some really complex issues when we're trying to decide how to treat him," she reveals.
Asking about his cholesterol levels, Robert reveals he's long has "extremely high triglycerides," with levels ranging in the 600s at age 13. He also has a blocked artery, for which he is being treated with blood thinners and cholesterol medication, as well as diabetes. "So you certainly are quite an interesting guy," Lee tells him after hearing his medical history.
"I mean, first of all, you have a serious cardiovascular risk with a known clog of your artery there, and then we're gonna give you a lot of numbing medicine which can be toxic to the heart, you know?" she explains. "There's a lot of things I think about – like how much of these are gonna bleed? How well are these gonna heal? So that's the quandary here, and I don't know what we're getting into. I've never removed one." Will Lee be able to help Robert? Dr. Pimple Popper airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.0comments