What you need to know about Hepatitis C Treatments
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause liver inflammation and lead to serious liver damage. If you have hepatitis C, your doctor will examine your specific condition and make a treatment plan based on the type of the hepatitis C (genotypes), your general condition, and how much liver scarring (cirrhosis) you have.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
The main treatment options for hepatitis C are antiviral medication and liver transplantation. Antiviral medication is used to clear the virus from your body in at least 8 to 12 weeks. If you have developed a more serious complication, then liver transplantation can be an option. During liver transplantation, you are given a general anesthetic, and then your doctor removes the damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver, either from a deceased donor or a living donor.
How Long Should You Stay in the Area?
If your doctor gives you antiviral medication, you may need to stay in the area for a few weeks as your doctor needs to monitor how your body is responding to the medication. If you undergo surgery, you are required to spend 5 to 10 days in the hospital and stay in the country for 10 to 14 more days after you are discharged from the hospital.
How Long is the Recovery Time?
The recovery time depends on which treatment you underwent. With antiviral medication, you should be able to get back to most of your normal routine within a couple of days or as soon as you do not experience any symptoms or side effects from the medication. With a liver transplant, the full recovery period can take around six months, but you should be able to return to work within a few months.
What Aftercare Should You Consider?
Making healthy lifestyle changes is very important after your treatment, such as following a healthy and balanced diet plan and regular exercise. Treatment with antiviral medication requires regular follow-up checkups to monitor your condition and progress. With liver transplantation, you also need regular checkup and you may need to take medication for a longer period of time.
What is the Success Rate for a Hepatitis C Treatment?
Antiviral medicine is a safe and effective treatment for hepatitis C, with around 90% of patients with the condition are cured. Liver transplant is generally safe and approximately 70% of patients who undergo the procedure can live for ten years or longer. Both have some side effects and risks, such as depression, anxiety, skin irritation, insomnia, anorexia, tiredness, hair loss, aggressive behavior, bile duct complications, blood clots, bleeding, failure or rejection of donated liver, infection, mental confusion, and seizures
Are there Alternatives to Hepatitis C Treatment?
You will need antiviral medication to treat hepatitis C, but if the infection is diagnosed in the early stages, you may not need treatment immediately. However, you still need to make lifestyle adjustments. Your doctor will have several blood tests to see if your body fights off the virus, if the infection does not continue, you usually do not need treatment.
What Should You Expect Before and After the Procedure?
When you have hepatitis C, the virus can damage your liver and you may experience symptoms, such as fatigue, bruising easily, bleeding easily, jaundice, weight loss, dark-colored urine, and more. After treatment, you may be cured and will not experience any of these symptoms anymore.
For an in-depth analysis of what is Hepatitis C, watch this short video.
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