HCV+ Kiss surgery good-bye??

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New Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2007
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My current situation is this: I'm an MSI and have had HepC since childhood (blood transfusion). Tried interferon/ribavirin a few years ago- didn't work. Aside from the positive viral load, I'm asymptomatic and full of energy and generally healthy. Lately I've been thinking more and more about what I'd like to specialize in, and then it finally started sinking in that I may have real problems due to my condition in certain invasive procedure-heavy specialties, especially surgery. This started to really worry me, because I've always been interested in surgery. Hell, that's mostly why I applied to med school in the first place...

I tried unsuccessfully to find some general policies about this issue in the literature. The CDC has vague statements about how HCV+ surgeons should be allowed to operate unrestricted, but this contradicts a lot of the cases I came across in my search- doctors being forced to retire or change specialties after disclosing their status.

In light of the lack of a nationwide policy, how are surgeons with blood-borne diseases dealt with? Are there state laws that impose regulations? Does each hospital operate by its own rules? How do hospitals deal with an HCV+ surgeon? Will I absolutely need to reveal my HCV+ status in residency? What about laws to protect my own privacy?

From what I've been able to gather, it seems that for the sake of my future career, I should bite the bullet and forget about surgery. Am I correct in my judgment? Aside from surgery, is any other specialty off-limits for me?

I appreciate any advice you may offer.


Full Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2006
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I know of a surgeon who is hepC positive. Many are hepB positive. As far as I know there have been no restrictions. I'm not sure, but aren't many liver transplant surgeons hepC positive? Needlesticks are inevitable over the course of a career, and transplant surgeons work with a lot of hepC patients.