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Hepatitis B test

Blood test to detect hepatitis B infection

The hepatitis B blood test checks for a protein on the surface of the virus called hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg)

About hepatitis B test

A simple blood test can detect various parts of the hepatitis virus. The hepatitis B test detects for a protein on the surface of the virus called hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg). If you are found to be infected (if your test is HBsAg-positive), your consultant may recommend further tests.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    A tight band (tourniquet) may be put around your upper arm. This causes the vein to swell and makes it easier for a blood sample to be taken.

    Before taking the sample, your consultant may clean the area of skin with an antiseptic wipe.

    A syringe is used to remove a small amount of blood from your arm. You should only feel a pinprick as the blood is extracted. Pressure is applied using a cotton pad and a plaster may be put on the small wound.

    The sample can be taken by your consultant, or a nurse, or by other hospital staff, and the entire process will take only a few minutes.
     
  • How to prepare icon plus

    As this is a very simple procedure, there is usually no preparation required. You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything except water for up to 12 hours before your hepatitis B test. If you’re taking certain medication, you may also be advised to stop taking it for a while prior to the procedure.

    It's important to follow the instructions you're given, as not doing so may affect the results of the test and you may be required to reschedule to do the procedure again.

    Your consultant will explain the procedure and any instructions to you and answer any questions you may have.
     
  • Afterwards icon plus

    The procedure usually takes just a few minutes with little or no pain, and you should be free to go home immediately if you aren't feeling any after-effects like dizziness. Results should come back within a few days. If your test result is HBsAg-positive, your consultant may advise further tests to:

    • assess how long you've had the virus and its activity (viral load)
    • screen for other infections such as hepatitis A, C, D and HIV, as co-infection can influence treatment options
    • find out if and how the virus is affecting your liver

    Your consultant will also answer any questions you may have.

     
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We’re proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical, fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments. 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • The Wellington Hospital

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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