Infrared Coagulation (IRC) for Hemorrhoids
Infrared photocoagulation (IRC) is a medical procedure used to treat small and medium sized hemorrhoids. During the procedure, your physician will use a device to apply an intense beam of infrared light to treat your internal hemorrhoids. The heat created by the infrared light causes scar tissue which cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Most patients will require 2-3 sessions of treatment to achieve optimal results.
There is minimal preparation required prior to Infrared Coagulation. You may require an enema prior to the procedure. It is very important that your physician’s instructions be followed carefully. The quality of the preparation can affect the physician’s ability to successfully complete the procedure.
As with all procedures it is important to advise the surgeon of all medication, vitamins and dietary supplements you are taking. Some dosages may need to be adjusted or avoided completely for a few days prior to the procedure. All allergies must be discussed with the physician or nurse as well. If you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, heart or lung disease that may require special attention during the procedure, discuss this with your doctor.
You may experience a small amount of rectal bleeding up to 7-10 days. This can be normal and often represents the hemorrhoids sloughing off. You should not have significant pain after the procedure.
Hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed veins around the anus or lower rectum. They are either inside the anus or under the skin around the anus. They often result from straining to have a bowel movement. Other factors include pregnancy, aging and chronic constipation or diarrhea.
Hemorrhoids are very common in both men and women. About half of all people have hemorrhoids by age 50. The most common symptom of hemorrhoids inside the anus is bright red blood covering the stool, on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. Symptoms usually go away within a few days.
If you have rectal bleeding you should see a doctor. You need to make sure bleeding is not from a more serious condition such as colorectal or anal cancer. Treatment may include warm baths and a cream or other medicine. If you have large hemorrhoids, you may need surgery and other treatments.
Provided by: NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases