If you’re suffering from hemorrhoids, Infrared coagulation (IRC) is often an initial treatment of choice, especially for early stage of internal hemorrhoids. In this procedure, an intense infrared light heats the hemorrhoidal tissue, creating scar tissue that blocks blood supply to the hemorrhoid, which shrinks and dies.
In general, IRC is a very safe office procedure that takes less than a minute in each treatment. It is relatively painless and no anesthesia or painful injections are needed. It produces very good results in the early stages of hemorrhoids with minimal complications and quick recovery. The recovery time after IRC treatment is minimal with very little pain or discomfort. It is important to take care of the rectal area after the IRC procedure to avoid a recurrence of the hemorrhoids. Here at the Procedure Clinic in Edina, MN, we offer the following tips on recovering from IRC treatments.
1. Keep the area clean and dry. Do not wipe or rub vigorously.
2. Take sitz bath in warm water for 15 min, twice a day and after every bowel movement. Sitz baths will help relieve discomfort and clean the area.
3. Good toilet habits:
a. Move your bowels as soon as you feel the urge.
b. Do not strain, bear down, or hold your breath during a bowel movement.
c. Do not sit on the toilet for long periods of time. If you cannot empty your bowel, you may re-visit the toilet at a later time.
4. Avoid constipation and straining during bowel movements:
a. You are encouraged to eat plenty of high-fiber foods, drink plenty of fluids, and exercise. The high fiber food includes vegetables , fruits, , beans, and whole grains.
b. If your diet is lack of fiber, y can also take two tablespoons of any over the counter fiber supplement such as natural wheat bran, natural oat bran, flax, Benefiber with a lot of water.
c. If you develop constipation with hard stool, you may use a stool softener with or without laxative.
5. Do not stay seated for more than two hours. Do the muscle exercise by tightening your buttock muscles 10 times and take 10 deep breaths every a couple of hours.
6. Avoid heavy lifting for a few weeks.
7. Do not drink alcohol or reduce alcohol intake.
8. Apply hemorrhoid creams when the symptoms flair up.
9. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
When to Call Your Doctor
Problems are not common with the IRC treatment. However, if there is a substantial amount of bleeding, severe pain, chills, fever or difficulty passing urine (very rare), you should call your doctor to seek medical attention.