Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. These veins can cause pain and discomfort that can become severe. Infrared coagulation (IRC) is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, that is very effective for many patients. During the IRC procedure, the hemorrhoid is exposed to a warm, painless infrared light or electrical current. Hemorrhoids can be successfully treated during a series of IRC sessions.
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Benefits of Infrared Coagulation
IRC is less painful than other hemorrhoid treatment methods such as rubber band ligation or surgery. The procedure causes very little discomfort and most patients do not need anesthesia during the procedure. IRC also has a low rate of complications and does not affect bowel movements.
The Infrared Coagulation Procedure
During the IRC procedure, the area directly above the hemorrhoid is exposed to a few short bursts of warm, painless infrared light. This method avoids stimulation of the hemorrhoid itself, which is full of sensitive nerves. The blood in the small veins above the hemorrhoid absorb the energy and dry out, or coagulate, cutting off blood flow to the hemorrhoid. The most common side effect of IRC is light bleeding or discharge which may occur immediately after treatment, until the tissue heals.
Over a series of four to six treatment sessions the hemorrhoid shrivels and is re-absorbed into the mucus of the anal canal, eliminating most or all painful symptoms. Hemorrhoids treated with IRC generally do not reappear.