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The Norton Complex Care Clinic in downtown Louisville is devoted to treating and curing patients with hepatitis C.
Viral hepatitis slowly attacks the liver, so patients typically don’t have symptoms. Hepatitis C patients are at very high risk for liver cancer.
The infectious diseases specialists at the Norton Complex Care Clinic have the experience to give you a precise diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan that may be able to cure your hepatitis C.
The treatments used to cure hepatitis C are called direct-acting antivirals. When taken as prescribed, these direct-acting antivirals have a 95% to 98% cure rate.
Left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can lead to serious liver conditions, including fibrosis (scarring of the liver), cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
The Norton Complex Care Clinic offers a special treatment plan for pregnant mothers in conjunction with their OB/GYN to make sure mom and baby receive the care they need.
Chronic viral hepatitis, most commonly in the forms of hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C, typically has no symptoms for many years. Even though the virus is silent, it is actively damaging the liver.
Few people with a hepatitis C infection feel ill while the virus is in their bodies. The symptoms tend to be mild and flu-like. Fatigue is the most common symptom of a hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
Many people with newly acquired HCV infection tend to be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms that are unlikely to prompt a visit to a health care professional. When symptoms do occur, they can include:
Hepatitis C typically spreads only through contact with infected blood. Most people become infected with hepatitis C through sharing needles or other injection-related equipment. Hepatitis B, however, can spread through any bodily fluid carrying viral hepatitis. There is a vaccine for hepatitis B. The hepatitis B vaccine is administered with two or three doses after age 19.
Hepatitis C testing is conducted during at least one prenatal visit in Kentucky. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HCV testing — a simple blood test — for those with an increased risk of infection.
A follow-up test, HCV RNA, measures the amount of hepatitis C virus in the bloodstream. This test delivers a very precise number, often called the viral load, that helps measure the effectiveness of treatment.
According to the CDC, those with an increased risk for hepatitis C infection include:
At Norton Complex Care Clinic, we take a comprehensive approach to treating your hepatitis C. Treatment plans consist of four appointments in total through the entire treatment process. While each treatment plan can vary, these are the typical steps:
Our specialists will start your treatment by gathering your medical history and may include blood tests.
We’ll examine you for any liver damage with a painless, noninvasive scan to determine the health of your liver.
At a follow-up appointment to the clinic, you will receive your results from hepatitis C testing and details on the recommended hepatitis C treatment. Treatment usually lasts eight to 12 weeks but may vary depending on the type of hepatitis C infection you have and the medicine your provider prescribes. Our team will walk you through the process for getting your medication for treatment.
Norton Specialty Pharmacy will contact you for a consultation to discuss your medications, go over how to take them and possible side effects, and provide answers to your questions. Patients typically receive their medications to begin treatment within a week.
A follow-up visit is required after completing four weeks of treatment.
Finally, once you have completed treatment, you will return for a six-month blood test to confirm that the active hepatitis C virus is gone. If you’re pregnant or nursing, your care plan can look different. Learn more about our pregnancy and hepatitis C program.
In the first six months after exposure, the disease is considered acute hepatitis C. For about a quarter of these patients the virus clears out of their system after a few months. More often, infection develops into a chronic hepatitis C infection.
Norton Cancer Institute – Downtown676 S. Floyd St., lower levelLouisville, KY 40202Phone: (502) 629-6250
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