Infrared Coagulation (IRC)

Procedure Questions

What is Infrared Coagulation (IRC)?

Infrared Coagulation of internal hemorrhoids, or IRC, is a treatment for internal hemorrhoids.

Procedure Bullet Points

Infrared Coagulation (IRC):

  • Is low-risk
  • Is well tolerated
  • Is performed in office
  • Usually does not require anesthetic
  • Takes about 10 minutes

Your doctor will make contact at the base of the hemorrhoid with a small probe. The probe releases a brief burst of infrared light, which burns the blood vessels at the base of the hemorrhoid and coagulates them.

The coagulated blood vessels are unable to carry blood into the hemorrhoid, and the hemorrhoid gradually shrinks then recedes.

You should consider the Infrared Coagulation (IRC) if:

  • You suffer from internal hemorrhoids
  • Over-the-counter products don’t provide relief
  • You want a safe, effective alternative to more invasive techniques

Fasting or other special preparations aren’t usually required for Infrared Coagulation (IRC), but your doctor may advise otherwise.

It’s important to inform your doctor of:

  • Any medication that you take regularly
  • Any known allergies to medication
  • Any medical conditions that will require special attention, such as;
    • diabetes
    • heart conditions
    • lung conditions
    • any other major condition

It’s important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions.

You may feel a sensation of heat or some slight pain during the Infrared Coagulation (IRC) procedure, but it’s usually not intense. Therefore, the procedure does not require any anesthetic.

Your doctor can only treat one hemorrhoid per treatment, so multiple hemorrhoids will require at least one return visit.

You’ll be able to return to your normal routine the same day and you’ll be scheduled for a return visit if there are remaining hemorrhoids to treat.

You may notice:

  • A sensation of fullness
  • A feeling similar to an oncoming bowel movement
  • Slight discomfort, which can be relieved with;
    • Mild pain medications
    • Shallow baths in warm water
  • Slight bleeding 7-10 days after the treatment

It’s recommended that you:

  • Avoid strenuous activity for the rest of the day
  • Avoid aspirin products and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for 4-5 days
  • Take a high-fiber stool softener to reduce the risk of your hemorrhoids returning
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