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Will previous colon surgery cause a false positive for Hepatitis C blood test?

Hello Community!

Question: Can somebody tell me if colon surgery will cause a Hepatitis C false positive reading with a blood test?

I have got the following scenario:

December 1988 - Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, had nine (9) blood transfusions, then had a subtotal colectomy. The surgeon connected the small intestine to the rectum.

March 1989 - Blood test by an internal medicine doctor, Dr. S, returned positive for Non-A Non-B hepatitis. The doctor said it was Hepatitis C.

April 1989 - My then-gastroenterologist medical doctor, Dr. P, said that a positive Non-A Non-B was normal for a person that had had the kind of surgery that I had and that I had no hepatitis.

September 1995 - Hospitalized with a digestive tract blockage blockage. The hospital ran a battery of tests, I had to have abdominal surgery for adhesions. No mention was made of hepatitis.

1997 - A dentist, Dr. D, used novocaine for a crown.

1999 - A different dentist, Dr. N, used novocaine for crowns.

2017 - My current gastroenterologist MD, Dr. W,  staff took blood for tests. No mention was made of hepatitis.

2018 - A general practitioner doctor of osteopath, Dr. R, staff took blood for tests. No mention was made of hepatitis.

2018 - A dentist, Dr. F (my current dentist), installed crowns.

October 2019 - A medical doctor, Dr. M, (with C******t Medical) staff took blood for a routine exam. He wrote a letter and said that I had significant liver inflammation.

February 9th, 2020 - A different doctor office, Dr. A, (also with C******t Medical group) took blood for a routine exam.

March 1st, 2020 - Dr. A told me that I had Hepatitis C and that I must have gotten it from the blood transfusions some 32 years earlier. He took more blood. I told his nurse about the previous hospitalization and one of the above mentioned blood tests and that no mention had been made of hepatitis.

March 6th, 2020 - Dr. A's nurse called and said that Dr. A wished to refer me to a GI doctor.

I engage in absolutely no (0%) risk activity. The above dental offices and the blood tests mentioned above are the only time a needle has broken my skin.

Thank you in advance.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Many people with hepatitis C infection do not know how they were infected. Possible causes include receiving a blood transfusion before 1992 (when blood was not routinely tested for hepatitis C or other infections), sharing needles, syringes, or other paraphernalia used for injection drug use, needlestick injuries in health care settings, exposure to improperly sterilized tattoo/body piercing or medical/dental equipment, having unprotected sex with an infected person, or being born to a mother who has hepatitis C. In your case, the blood transfusions in 1988 were the most likely culprit.
Avatar universal
You did not specify exactly which blood tests were performed. The initial screening test for hepatitis C is usually the ELISA screen, but more than 1 in 5 people who test positive do not actually have hepatitis C. Antibodies picked up by the test may have been triggered by infection other than hepatitis C (cross-reactivity phenomenon). People who have recovered from hepatitis C on their own may also get a false-positive ELISA test result. False-positive results may also occur in newborns who carry hepatitis C antibodies from their mothers. For these reasons, a positive anti-HCV test should be followed up with HCV RNA RT-PCR testing to confirm whether or not you actually have the infection.
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