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Surgery risky?
Dec 13, 2001

Dear DD, I am worried that if I undergo some kind of surgery (removing gallstones) I would get infected with hiv/hcv if one of the surgicians are hiv/hcv carriers and the person accidentally pricked him/herself and thus causing blood-to-blood contact. I read some of the questions and answers in this forum. There are some surgicians who are positive and still perform surgery on patients. Well, I really don't want to trade gallstone for hiv or hcv. How likely this kind of situation could happen? WW

Response from Dr. Dieterich

This is a very controversial topic. There have been very few documented cases of transmission of either HIV or HCV from healthcare workers to patients. Considering all the encounters in the world even if the surgeon is infected the chances are very very small. Most of the cases are actually from drug using MD's who have been using IV drugs in the OR. It is not a rational worry. Find something else to worry about like the risk of anesthesia! DTD

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