What Happens After Hepatitis C Treatment?
Patients often wonder what happens next after hepatitis C treatment is completed. Here are common questions and answers regarding what happens next.
What can I expect after hepatitis C treatment?
After treatment, your doctor may recommend...
- Follow-up physical exams and blood work with your doctor throughout the next three months or longer, depending on your liver condition
- Blood work for viral load is done 12 weeks after you completed hepatitis C treatment. If no hepatitis C is detected in your blood, you receive an SVR12 (sustained virologic response) and considered cured.
- Depending on your liver condition, if you have cirrhosis, you will still need to be tested and monitored by your liver specialist on a regular basis.
- If you have cirrhosis and taking medication for this condition, do not stop or alter any medications unless your doctor advises.
- If you have had hepatitis C for an extended period, your doctor may want to run further tests such an abdominal sonogram every 6 months to 1 once a year for a while.
What happens if I have associated conditions?
If you have associated conditions like cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, diabetes, heart, or kidney disease, or cryoglobulinemia, or others, your doctor will need to monitor your condition or have you follow-up with a specialist.
Will my recovery be different if I’ve had a liver transplant?
If you have had a liver transplant and completed treatment for hepatitis C, your recovery may last a little longer than usual due to the anti-rejection medication you are required to take. You will need to be monitored on a regular basis with your transplant team and liver specialist and continue to take your anti-rejection medication.
Does treatment for hepatitis C cure cirrhosis?
It is important to note, treatment for hepatitis C does not cure cirrhosis. Hep C treatment eliminates the virus and prevents further damage from occurring.
Will my associated medical conditions go away?
Depending on your medical condition, and how long you had hepatitis C, once treatment for hepatitis C is completed and your body has gone through a recovery period, you may see associated conditions improve or resolve. Every person’s medical condition and the recovery period is unique.
How long will recovery from treatment last?
Every person’s recovery period is unique with considering their liver and medical condition, other medication they take, age, and activity level. Generally, if someone does not have cirrhosis, they may see energy return within less than 6 months, versus others, may see improvement take a bit longer.
It is important to remember the goal of treatment is to eliminate the virus and prevent further liver damage from occurring. Your body and liver take time to heal and regenerate. Be patient in the process. You are making progress every day.
Do you try to follow a liver-friendly diet?