Northeast Digestive Health Center operates a comprehensive Hepatitis C treatment clinic. The treatment clinic is managed by our staff of Advanced Clinical Practitioners: Kelsey Trull, PA-C, Danielle Sykes, PA-C, Ishwari Amin, PA-C, and Megan Quigg, PA-C in collaboration with your gastroenterologist.
The treatment of hepatitis C is a multidisciplinary effort that requires the expertise of various healthcare professionals. The first step in the treatment process is to identify the virus's strain and determine its level of resistance to available medications. This information is used to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual patient.
The goal of hepatitis C treatment is to cure the infection and prevent any long-term damage to the liver. There are a number of different medications that can be used for this purpose, and the treatment plan will likely include more than one medication. The most common approach is to use a combination of antiviral drugs called "direct-acting antivirals" or DAAs. These drugs attack the virus directly and can cure more than 90% of patients who take them.
There are also several new therapies under development that show promise in treating hepatitis C. These therapies are currently in clinical trials, and it is not yet known how effective they will be. However, they offer hope for patients who have failed previous treatment regimens or who have developed resistance to existing treatments.
Once you have begun treatment, you are closely monitored with office visits, periodic lab testing, and treatment adjustments according to your response to therapy. Treatment time can run from 2-12 months in duration. For most patients, success rates are greater than 90% and treatment is fairly well tolerated. The Hepatitis C treatment clinic is structured to support you and to ensure you successfully complete treatment and are cured of your Hepatitis C. You will need testing 12 weeks after you have completed treatment to determine if you have been cured and no longer have Hepatitis C.
During initial visits to the Hepatitis C clinic, you will learn about the Hepatitis C virus, routes of transmission, the most current treatments for Hepatitis C, and potential treatment options customized to your specific situation. Most patients with Hepatitis C are asymptomatic and have had the disease for up to 20 years prior to diagnosis.
We perform an in-depth screening interview to determine your suitability for treatment by reviewing your overall medical condition, the medications you are currently taking (please bring a comprehensive list of all medications prescribed, OTC and supplements to your visit), the condition of your liver, and your lifestyle to determine if or when treatment will be offered.
Lastly, we will undertake a pre-treatment work-up which may include x-rays, lab work, liver biopsy, eye exam, vaccinations against other types of Viral Hepatitis, and a depression & fatigue evaluation. It may take up to 6-8 weeks for treatment to be approved once you are felt to be an appropriate candidate for therapy.
If you would like to learn more about Hepatitis C, check out our comprehensive Hepatitis C condition page.
If you're ready to start treatment for your hepatitis C, the team at Northeast Digestive Health Center is here to help. We offer a comprehensive clinic that provides tailored treatment plans based on each patient's individual needs. Our staff of Advanced Clinical Practitioners will work with you every step of the way to ensure you are cured of your infection and have all the support you need during treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your road to recovery.