Hemorrhoid Laser Treatment (InfraRed Coagulation)
In cases where there is frequent rectal bleeding from internal hemorrhoids, despite adherence to conservative medical treatment, infra red coagulation (IRC) is recommended.
This is a procedure that is done in the office, takes about 5 minutes and cauterizes the base of the hemorrhoids. It does not require sedation and is not painful for over 95% of patients. The nerve setup of the rectum and colon is such that there is no pain in response to burns or cuts of the inner lining. There is a special wand that emits infra red light (which can cauterize the tissue) that can scar down the veins (hemorrhoids) in the rectum. Usually 1 or 2 hemorrhoids can be cauterized at one session. Repeat sessions may be necessary to completely eradicate a large hemorrhoid, or to cauterize the remaining ones. Good to excellent results occur over 85% of the time, fair results 10%, and poor results 5% of the time.
Results may last for 6-18 months once hemorrhoids are fully cauterized. New hemorrhoids tend to form in patients who have the predisposition to make them.
There are rarely any complications or side effects, and the patient should be able to walk out of the office and resume most normal activities. This is typically covered by insurance, and repeat sessions are allowed every 3 months, with most insurance companies.