- The fifth episode of Dr. Sandra Lee’s TLC series, „Dr. Pimple Popper,“ aired on Wednesday night.
- It featured a patient named Nick who removed his own fatty tumor at home, without any anesthesia.
- When Lee learns of the DIY procedure, she’s noticeably disturbed.
- She explains that, aside from causing intense pain, performing this type of surgery at home could lead to dangerous bleeding.
- Warning: This post contains graphic images.
Dr. Sandra Lee — dermatologist and star of TLC’s new series „Dr. Pimple Popper“ — is famous for her lighthearted bedside manner.
But in the latest episode of the series, which aired Wednesday night, one patient encounter sapped Lee’s cheerfulness in an instant. That patient, identified only as Nick, admitted that he’d removed one of his own fatty tumors at home — without anesthesia — leaving a deep, indented scar.
This confession leaves Lee visibly distressed. But by the end of the episode, she transforms it into a teaching moment. Her message to viewers is crystal clear: Surgery is not a DIY project.
Here’s a closer look at the episode.
Nick has seven lipomas and removed one by himself
During the episode, Nick, a 27-year-old resident of Seattle, explains that he’s been living with seven lipomas — usually-benign fatty tumors that grow just under the skin. His lipomas are fairly small (from grape-sized to egg-sized, he says) but the ones on his back cause discomfort when he sits for long periods of time.
Nick also explains that he’s a DIY enthusiast. This enthusiasm is so great, in fact, that Nick actually dug a lipoma from his leg with no anesthesia, then posted the video of the home surgery YouTube.
„As a do-it-yourselfer, I started going online and looking into how I could treat myself at home,“ Nick says. „I concluded that … [a lipoma] could be easily removed at home with nothing more than a scalpel. So I decided the next big step was to become a doctor from YouTube … I put on my glove, grabbed my blade, sterilized my area, and started to slice into my body. It actually only hurt for the first layer and after that you couldn’t feel it.“
Nick then explains that he’s seeking Lee’s help because he can’t reach the lipomas on his back for more DIY removals.
„The past few days I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the idea that I’m actually going to getting a surgery performed by Dr. Sandra Lee,“ Nick says in a short interview filmed outside Lee’s office, just before his initial consultation. „I think she’ll be impressed with the minimal blood loss I was able to obtain without any kind of medical injection.“
Lee is not thrilled when Nick reveals his DIY surgery
In the exam room, Nick explains his DIY surgery and Lee’s smile fades instantly.
„You’re kidding me,“ she says to Nick.
When Nick tries to show Lee his YouTube surgery video, things get even more tense.
„I don’t think I can watch this,“ Lee says. „This is disgusting.“
„It’s educational,“ Nick replies.
„No, it’s not educational,“ Lee responds. „This is what not to do.“
Dedicated Dr. Pimple Popper fans might already know that Lee has an aversion to homemade popping videos. She told INSIDER earlier this year that she gets „shivers“ even thinking about them.
„I can’t and won’t look at these videos,“ Lee told INSIDER. „I wonder if that was a sterile environment. Was the patient … in pain? Will they have a terrible life-threatening infection after, and be left with a horrendous scar? When I do my own procedures and surgeries, I’m in control, and I know that it is a calm, sterile, painless environment. These are the only kind I can watch.“
She then removes three of his lipomas „the humane way“
Lee examines the remainder of Nick’s lipomas — and even though she says she’s „pissed off“ with him, she opts to remove three.
„I am not pleased with Nick right now but I also feel that he is going to take his other lipomas in his hands if I don’t intervene,“ Lee says during the episode. „I’m going to show him the humane way to remove a lipoma.“
Slowly but surely, she does, injecting each site with anesthesia, cutting open the skin, and wrestling out the stubborn growths.
She also explains exactly why his DIY effort was so dangerous.
„There are so many risks that come into my mind when I think of Nick,“ Lee says. „I mean, what if he hit a big artery and he couldn’t stop it from bleeding? The numbing that I put in, not only does it numb you, but it also constricts local blood vessels so that you bleed less.“
The episode offers an important teaching moment
After the procedure, Nick promises not to attempt any future at-home surgery. Lee’s transparent distress clearly made an impression.
„I can see that Dr. Lee was genuinely concerned about me doing more surgeries in the future, so I 100% will take it seriously,“ he says.
Lee also uses the opportunity to send viewers a strong but simple message.
„Nick’s case reminds me that I present these videos and I might make it look simple,“ she says, „but don’t try this at home.“
And, after all that tension, the episode ends with a feel-good twist: Lee says in a voiceover that, eight weeks after his surgery, Nick has healed up perfectly, started to raise chickens, and even named one of his birds „Dr. Sandra Lee.“
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Source: Business insider