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186606 tn?1263513790

I am told i have Hep C after a lot of procedures and a BIG pelvic surgery

I found out last week that I have hepatitis C positivity. In November I had a colonoscopy in preparation for the removal of a large (football sized) ovarian cyst that was found at an ER visit on Nov. 4. I had the colonoscopy and ten days later a large operation to remove that cyst.  I had the usual postoperative recovery but about week five or six i started doing really badly, no appetite, sleeping all the time (an almost overnight change from not getting ENOUGH sleep). Finally, after weeeks of this, i noticed some urine changes and said to hell with this.

I have really high LFTs and really good LDL/HDL and had an ultrasound which was stated as "normal".  My internist took the viral load tests, etc. last week Thursday. Tomorrow will be a week.

I spent the weekend doing too much reading about Hep C and for the first time in my life, noticing little aches and pains.

The good news is that I know from an "active hepatitis" standpoint I'm doing much better. I can eat (LIKE CRAZY) now and the sleep thing is pulling back a lot.

I don't know what to make of all this and more than that, I wonder if i was exposed by any one of the number of invasive things that i had done over the last few months. I had normal LFTs on November 4.

I am really terrified.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Unfortunately there is a small risk of contracting Hep C from medical procedures. I had a dozen steroidal epidural procedures following a back surgery and I too contracted Hep C. I was a blood donor previously so I know I didn't have it before,either that or they did not properly screen my blood! ( scary thought)
It is extremely difficult to "prove" however and the medical community is extremely defensive about it and claims it does not occur in spite of evidence to the contrary.

The Mayo clinic came out with a risk list last year and they put the risk of contracting Hep C during a colonoscopy or other surgical procedures at 5-10%.
Dental procedures was slightly higher, manicure salons was quite high.  

One important thing to you is the fact that if you find out you have Hep C quickly, within 6 months of being exposed, you chances of clearing the virus with treatment are very good. In this case, you want to act swiftly BEFORE it becomes chronic if at all possible. Our odds aren't that great at treatment working (approx. 50% for geno 1)so treating right away in the acute phase is the best way to go.

I know it's very scary to find out you have this, can you see a Heptologist? Time is of the essence in your case, I'd move aggressively to stop the virus before it gets a chance to proliferate.
173975 tn?1216261375
Deb,

so sorry to hear about the diagnosis but it sounds like you're catching it at an early stage which, according to what I've read, is preferable to the alternative.  (20+ years)

Good luck with your decision.

Kalio,

Do you have the link where this info is posted?
Thanks

"The Mayo clinic came out with a risk list last year and they put the risk of contracting Hep C during a colonoscopy or other surgical procedures at 5-10%.
Dental procedures was slightly higher, manicure salons was quite high."
Avatar universal
I did post it here previously. I will try to find it, I know I saved it to a file. Problem is I now have a new computer but I can fire up the old one and try to repost it.

I have a few other good information for other routes of infection besides drug use filed too.
Might take me a few days but I will post it to you.

Clearly the most common way to contract this is through IV drug use past or present or by transfusion prior to 1992, but 40% of people who have this picked it up in some other fashion. With hospital infection  ranking the 3rd most common cause of deathin America, I can't see how the health community can ignore the fact that we are at risk ( even if it's a small risk) for Hep C infection when we have surgeries or other invasive procedures done.

I was shocked to read there still remains a risk for HIV infection in hospitals too! The risk is very low 1 in 100,000 was what was quoted. Still, that's a scary thought, isn't it?

Best advice, stay healthy and stay the heck away from hospitals!

173975 tn?1216261375
I know what you mean.

I have so much stuff saved on my old pc that I can't find!

I did check a link you mentioned on the other forum, the powerpoint presentation by corbett.  That was helpful.

I've also cut and pasted other articles on risk lists, one from France, I believe, in November of 2006.

I was just interested in the Mayo study.  I did a search for "Mayo clinic Hepatitis C risk list" and it brought me to the main site but I couldn't find what you were talking about.

Don't worry about it!  And definitely don't drive yourself nuts looking for it!  
Avatar universal
Deb,
Sorry about your diagnosis.  Wow - what a relief getting a football sized anything out. That is amazing.

I am a little unclear on whether you think you were infected with C from this procedure or if it was just discovered during all the surgical work.  You will know a lot more when the results of the VL test are back.  

frijole
186606 tn?1263513790
i don't know Frijole. I was a blood donator up until about 94 or 95 and never got notified that my blood was infected and in the couple of weeks before my surgery, my blood work including LFTs was normal. It doesn't matter, I guess because i've read that it is impossible to tell. I'm still waiting on viral loads and all of that. they said my liver ultrasound was normal but my two liver tests are very high 600s and bilirubin mildly elevated. Great lipid profile though. I'm feeling a lot better...can eat and sleeping is more normal but still tired sometimes. So i don't know anything....really...and it seems like i've lost a lot without even knowing how or why....sorry for the self pity but it's been a real shock.
Avatar universal
They were able to test for hep C about late 1992 or so.  I know I got a letter when I tried to donate blood in Jan 03 that I was ineligle because I tested positive for the hep C antibodies.

Like you said, it is no matter now.  The important thing is what to do going forward from here.  All you know right now is that you have the antibodies.  If the viral load test comes back with detectible virus, then you do indeed have hep C.  A few people clear themselves, but not many. If you have a viral load, they will then test for the genotype.  There are 4 main genotypes and several sub categories.  Geno 1 is the most common in the US.  Geno 1 and 4 treat for 48 weeks, and Genos 2 and 3 have pretty good success treating for 24 weeks.  If positive you will probably need a biopsy.  Although there are some doctors who do not suggest this, especially if you decide to treat anyway, it is the only real way to know the state of your liver.  The Ultrasound is used to detect cancer which can develop
e for hep C, but it cannnot tell you if your liver has damage from the hepatitis virus.+

Check out this websight.  I think it is very informative and useful.  

http://janis7hepc.com/

frijole
179856 tn?1333550962
You would be surprised at the number of people who have hep who have none of the obvious triggers for it. People who never did IV drugs or had an operation or anything.

You know you can get it from a dentist or a vaccination when you were a kid or a nail salon.................tons of places.

The thing is not knowing where you got it or how but that you have it. Believe it or not you are lucky. MANY people never find out they do (this is why it is called the SILENT KILLER) until it is too late.

For some reason us heppers obsess endlessly and blame EVERYTHING on the disease when in reality...it's just a pain.

Don't let that happen or it will make you nuts.

It's great that you are learning all you can. The forum here taught me 100x more than I learned from reading.

Make sure you keep asking questions and getting a copy of ALL of your test results that you ever have. You won't believe how much that will help in the future.

Best of luck!
Avatar universal
Deb, You got good feedback so far.  Timing is essential here.  I had LFT's in the 600-700 range at the peak of my ACUTE phase (HCV less than 6 months in body).  If you are a geno 1 (most likely in US) your chances of clearing the virus go from 50-90%, if you start treating in the first six months post-infection and the sooner you start the better in most cases.  Questions for you:  

How long ago did you get stats of the LFT numbers in the 600's?  
How old are you?  
How much do you weigh? How tall are you?  
Are you relatively healthy?  Do you have any pre-existing conditions?  

If you are a healthy female < 30 years old who had symptoms (like the dark urine and fatigue), you have up to a 40% chance of clearing on your own, however, that's still less than 50%.  Timing is of the essence as to when to start treatment and the sooner the better (after the spike in LFT's).  Your VL results will be very important.  I had mine tested ever 3 weeks during the acute phase.  It went from 3+ million when I had the LFT spike to 140 right before I started treating, at 17 weeks post-infection.  If you have any further questions feel free to contact me at ***@****.  Since you said you probably got it in Nov, you're in a really good position to get rid of the virus--if you start treating soon.  

Keep us posted.  All my best, Aiuta  
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