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What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a redness and swelling of the liver that damages cells, sometimes permanently. The most common types are Hepatitis B and C. Both are caused by viruses.

Hepatitis B can range from mild symptoms to liver failure and death. The virus can spread through body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and saliva. Hepatitis B can be prevented with a vaccine.

The Hepatitis C virus spreads mainly from contact with infected blood, though it can also happen from sexual contact or from an infected mother to her baby. Symptoms are often mild and begin slowly, but it can lead to long-term (chronic) liver disease in most patients.

According to the CDC, hepatitis C is the main reason for needing a liver transplant and the main cause of liver cancer in the United States. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Fever
  • Muscle soreness
  • Joint pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Clay-colored or gray-colored stools
  • Belly (abdominal) pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Easy bleeding and bruising
  • Confusion
  • Swollen belly from fluid

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Many people with hepatitis C don’t know they have it. In most cases, people who are infected with hepatitis C may not show any symptoms for several years.

It is still possible to pass the virus to someone else if you have hepatitis C but do not have any symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Muscle and joint pain

Hepatitis symptoms can look like other health problems. Always see your primary care provider to be sure.

Schedule an appointment with a UR Medicine provider.

Call (585) 275-4711

UR Medicine's Treatments for Hepatitis

The UR Medicine Center for Liver Disease treats Hepatitis B and C. Golisano Children’s Hospital treats childhood hepatitis.

Hepatitis B only needs to be treated if it becomes a long-term infection. The decision to treat is complicated and based on many things. These include test results and how far the disease has advanced.

Medication is used to slow down or stop the virus from damaging the liver. Most people get medicines they can take by mouth, but some people get an injection. Your symptoms will be closely watched and managed as needed. If severe liver damage occurs, you may need a liver transplant.

There is no cure for hepatitis B. Treatment is helpful to decrease the amount of virus in your blood and decrease risk of complications.

Hepatitis C, on the other hand, can be cured. It is usually treated because it often becomes a long-term infection. Your treatment may include taking one or more medicines for several months. Your symptoms will be closely watched and managed as needed.

As with hepatitis B, if severe liver damage takes place, you may need a liver transplant.

What Sets Us Apart?

Our Center for Liver Disease provides the most advanced and complete services in the area for patients with liver disease. We offer a unique combination: world-class treatments in a center that is highly personal and accessible.

  • We’re able to see patients quickly, often the very next day.
  • We are a multidisciplinary center, so we can provide all the specialists you might need—including hepatologists, oncologists, rheumatologists, and others—without sending you to another center.
  • We’re experts in even the most complicated care, including offering the only liver transplant center in the region.
  • Our doctors make a practice of following up on patients, often calling them between appointments.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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3 locations

Gastroenterology & Hepatology - Brighton

Surgery Center at Sawgrass
180 Sawgrass Drive, Suite 230, 2nd Floor
Rochester, NY 14620

Konar Center for Digestive and Liver Disease - Rochester

Ambulatory Care Center at Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, Ambulatory Care Center, 4th & 5th Floor
Rochester, NY 14642

Gastroenterology & Hepatology - Brockport

Ambulatory Surgical Center at Strong West
156 West Avenue, Suite 107
Brockport, NY 14420

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