Infrared Coagulation (IRC)

WHAT IS INFRARED COAGULATION?

Infrared coagulation (IRC) is a non-surgical outpatient procedure for the treatment of hemorrhoids. IRC involves the use of infrared light as a heat source to quickly coagulate, or clot, vessels supplying blood to the hemorrhoids. A small probe is used to painlessly deliver a few short burst of infrared light to the hemorrhoid. The infrared coagulation causes the enlarged hemorrhoidal tissue to shrink and recede.

 

The doctor may recommend an infrared coagulation procedure if you have:

  • Bleeding hemorrhoids

  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids (internal hemorrhoids that protrude outside the anal opening due to excessive pressure such as straining during bowel movements)

 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR INFRARED COAGULATION

  • Your doctor may suggest the use of an over-the-counter

  • Enema to cleanse the rectum before you leave your house for the IRC procedure

  • No special dietary restrictions are required prior to the procedure

  • Since IRC is performed without sedation, you may safely drive your car to and from the procedure

 

WHAT TO EXPECT ONCE YOU ARRIVE FOR INFRARED COAGULATION

  • Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled procedure time

  • The IRC procedure usually takes about 5-10 minutes

  • For the procedure, you will lie on your left side

  • Some patients feel warmth in the anal/rectal area as the infrared light is applied. Many only feel minimal discomfort throughout the procedure

 

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER INFRARED COAGULATION

  • Any sensation of warmth in the anal/rectal area you experience during and after the IRC procedure should lessen within an hour

  • A small percentage of patients may experience minimal discomfort, lasting from a week to 10 days after the procedure

  • There may be minor post-procedure bleeding or spotting

  • You may return to your normal activities but avoid heavy lifting for a few days following the procedure