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What Is Infrared Coagulation (IRC)?
Infrared coagulation (IRC) was first introduced 20 years ago and has since become the world’s leading office treatment for hemorrhoids. This non-surgical treatment is fast, well tolerated and complication-free. A small probe is placed in the base of the hemorrhoid, and a few bursts of infrared light are applied. The vessels that provide the hemorrhoid with blood are then congealed, and the hemorrhoids shrink away. It may take a few weeks for all the hemorrhoids to shrink completely.
How Long is the Procedure?
Each treatment lasts about three to five minutes, but the severity of the hemorrhoid, as well as your comfort level, is also taken into account.
Does It Hurt?
The procedure is very tolerable. You’ll probably feel a brief sensation of heat rather than any actual pain. You may feel a bit of discomfort from the anoscope.
This treatment can be performed during a regular office visit and does not require any special preparation, anesthesia or medication.
How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?
It’s recommended that you take three 200-mg Ibuprofen tablets with some food about 1-2 hours before the procedure. Also, try to have a bowel movement 30 minutes before coming into the office.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Typically, there are no post-treatment effects. You’ll most likely resume normal, everyday activities immediately after finishing IRC. However, there may be some slight spot bleeding a few days later. Avoid heavy straining, lifting and aspirin.
How Many Visits Are Required for IRC?
This depends on how severe your hemorrhoids are, the location of the hemorrhoids, and your individual response to the procedure. Most patients require four visits every two weeks.
Will the Hemorrhoids Later Come Back?
Recurring hemorrhoids in different locations may occur, although rarely. If this happens, infrared coagulation, rubber band ligation or a hemorrhoidectomy in the next few years may be necessary. Also, a sensible diet, moderate exercise, and proper bowel habits are helpful.
Do You Offer Other Treatment Options?
An expert in proctology, Dr. Shu performs almost 1,000 hemorrhoid treatments every year. He offers rubber band ligation (RBL) and hemorrhoidectomies for more severe cases if necessary. He also treats other anorectal diseases such as anal fissures, anorectal abscesses, anal polyps and anal warts.