Did you know that the most common types of hepatitis are A, B, and C?
Hepatitis A is spread through the stool of an infected person, hepatitis B is spread through bodily fluids, and hepatitis C is spread through blood. It’s important to remember that you can’t get hepatitis just by touching someone who is infected.
To avoid exposure to the disease, wash your hands regularly, wear protective gloves, and never share needles.
Find out more information about liver transplants at UPMC.
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Symptoms of Hepatitis
Symptoms of hepatitis can vary depending on the type. Although some people may not experience symptoms at all, important signs to look for include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- General aches and pains
- Joint pain
- Dark urine
- Loose, light-colored stool
- Nausea and vomiting
Treatment for Hepatitis
Treatments vary for each type of hepatitis. Hepatitis A and B may go away on their own within a few weeks. If the infection lasts longer than six weeks, however, you may need medication.
Hepatitis C is more serious and requires treatment. While antivirals have shown success in treating hepatitis C, they may cause serious side effects.
Over a long period of time, hepatitis C can harm the liver and lead to:
- Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
Hepatitis and Liver Transplant
Any form of hepatitis can cause liver damage. If the liver becomes severely damaged, a liver transplant is necessary.
With more than 14,000 Americans on the waiting list for a liver transplant, patients often wait years for a transplant. Living donor transplantation allows a transplant to take place before the disease progresses further.
To reduce time on the transplant waiting list, you can choose to find a living donor. During a living-donor liver transplant, the surgeon takes a small part of the donor’s healthy liver and transplants it into the recipient. This process is possible because of the liver’s unique ability to regenerate, or regrow.
Connect with UPMC
About Transplant Services
For more than four decades, UPMC Transplant Services has been a leader in organ transplantation. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, making UPMC one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and take on some of the most challenging cases. Through research, we have developed new therapies that provide our patients better outcomes — so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions. Above all, we are committed to providing compassionate, complete care that can change – and save – our patients’ lives. Visit our website to find a provider near you.