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Case #2: Juliet
The second case of the episode starts with a trip northwest, to Bothell, Washington, which is where we meet 51-year-old Juliet. Juliet has unidentified bumps all over her neck and chest — about 50 total, ranging in size from a pea to a golf ball. The skin deformity isn’t all that obvious, but as a single mom, Juliet feels that her bumpy skin is getting in the way of her going out and meeting people. Her self-esteem is already in serious need of a boost: She says that her ex-husband told her that nobody would ever love her with “those lumps.”
At her consult, Juliet meets with Dr. Lee, who tells her that the body bumps are a dual condition of both steatocystomas and smaller europe vellus hair cysts. They are similar oil-producing cysts with slightly different contents underneath the surface of the skin. Dr. Lee can remove them, but has to be very careful because most of Juliet’s lumps are directly over neck veins; the puncture cuts to extract the cysts have to be precise. In surgery, the cysts deflate to a thick, butter-like that Dr. Lee finds extremely satisfying. She even lets Juliet hold a mirror up to watch her puffy skin drain back to normal.
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Case #3: Gerald
The last case starts in Chicago, where we meet 33-year-old Gerald, who works as a crossing guard. Eight years ago, he started growing a bump on his left middle finger that was about the size of a wart; now, it’s roughly as large as a golf ball. The lump is a major inconvenience for Gerald’s everyday activities, like opening a door, tying a shoe, or holding a crosswalk sign.
At his consultation, Gerald is ready to get his finger back to normal — but Dr. Lee is immediately concerned. She inspects the bump on Gerald’s knuckle, guessing it might be a lipoma, but admits that she’s never seen a condition like this. She’s shocked that there’s still good blood supply to the finger considering how …read more