Objective: Although anti-HCV testing in patients’ sera before surgery is still controversial in terms of cost and patient rights, nowadays it is requested in most of surgical departments. The aim of this study was to determine whether the test results of the patients were shared with the patient by the physician, whether the patients were informed about the presence of the disease before surgery, and to which extent they were regularly followed by a physician.

Methods: The patients with hepatitis C antibody in their sera before surgery at various surgical clinics between January 2013 and December 2017, were screened using hospital automation system records retrospectively. Anti-HCV-positive patients were called directly by telephone, and asked  whether they were informed about the disease before surgery, whether their test results were already shared by the surgeon,and if they had been contacted a health institution for further investigation or not.

Results: Total number of patients who had underwent surgery was 25 424. Of patients, 154 (0.6%) had anti-HCV seropositivity. Among them, number of patients reached by phone was 78. Of patients, 57 (73%) already knew about their seropositivity, but 17 (29.8%) of them were not followed by a physician. Number of patients who were unaware of their infection before surgery was 21 (26.9%), and 7 (33.3%) of them were informed on the phone.

Conclusions: In our country with low endemicity, it is an appropriate and effective approach to increase compliance with standard hygiene and preventive measures instead of pre-operative routine testing for hepatitis C. However, since many patients are unaware of their seropositivity, it has been concluded that the awareness of the surgeons and the patients about the infection should be increased.

Klimik Dergisi 2019; 32(3): 229-32.

Cite this article as: Erbay K, Hızel K, Özdil T. [Importance of anti-HCV screening before invasive procedures]. Klimik Derg. 2019; 32(3): 229-32. Turkish.

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