Infrared Coagulation

 
Introduction | FAQ

Introducing a fast and effective solution that takes the fear out of hemorrhoid treatment—infrared coagulation (IRC) is an efficient, non-surgical solution.

Millions of Americans suffer from hemorrhoids, and approximately three out of four people will develop hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Dr. Steven Shu, an office proceduralist, commonly treats hemorrhoid cases and can quickly alleviate your pain and discomfort using fast, reliable methods.

While many people associate hemorrhoids with painful surgery, only a small percentage of patients actually require surgery. A fast and simple office procedure, known as infrared coagulation (IRC), has taken the fear out of hemorrhoid treatment. The majority of hemorrhoid patients qualify as candidates for this non-surgical procedure.
 

What is infrared coagulation (IRC)?

Infrared coagulation (IRC) is an FDA-approved, fast and effective solution for treating hemorrhoids. This office-based procedure takes just a few minutes and uses infrared light to treat symptomatic internal hemorrhoids. IRC has quickly become the most widely used office procedure for hemorrhoids and is preferred over other methods because it’s fast, effective, well-tolerated by patients, and rarely has complications.

A small probe is inserted into the anus to flash infrared light onto the surface of the hemorrhoid. The heat from this infrared probe burns the hemorrhoid and creates scar tissue that cuts off its blood supply, causing it to shrink and die.

Because hemorrhoids are located in an area full of sensitive, somatic nerve endings, it would be too painful to directly coagulate the hemorrhoids. Fortunately, the small veins that supply blood to the hemorrhoids lie in an area with less sensitive, sympathetic nerve endings. With IRC, your doctor can effectively coagulate the less sensitive area directly above the hemorrhoids and destroy these small veins, successfully avoiding the painful area. Thus, IRC becomes a more tolerable treatment method.

IRC offers major advantages to patients over previous hemorrhoid treatment methods:

• Fast, simple, and safe solution
• No anesthesia required
• No special preparation needed
• No recovery time after treatment
• Clinically proven results
• Covered by all major insurance companies
 

Who are the best candidates for infrared coagulation (IRC)?

Infrared coagulation can be used to treat early stage hemorrhoids and is most effective for grade 1-2 hemorrhoids. If you suffer from irritating internal hemorrhoids that fail to respond to self-treatment and continue to cause itching, discomfort, pain, bleeding and other symptoms, IRC treatments might be a good solution.
 

How is an infrared coagulation (IRC) procedure performed?

Before an IRC procedure is performed, Dr. Shu first gently inserts an anoscope (a very short, 3-4 inch rigid metal tube) before using a handheld device that creates an intense beam of infrared light to touch the mucosa above the hemorrhoids, exposing the hemorrhoid tissue to a quick pulse of infrared light. The heat from the infrared light burns 4-5 spots in the targeted area, coagulating the vein above the hemorrhoids.

The resulting scar tissue cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid venous complex, causing it to shrink and die. It may take a few weeks for all the hemorrhoids to shrink completely. Moreover, the scar tissue acts to hold nearby hemorrhoid veins in place so that they don’t bulge into the anal canal and grow into hemorrhoids later on.

Each IRC treatment only takes a couple of minutes. You may need as many as four separate treatment sessions every two weeks to cover all the hemorrhoid areas, but this depends on each individual case and how extensive your hemorrhoids are.
 

What is the recovery time for infrared coagulation (IRC)?

After the IRC procedure, you may feel mild discomfort in the anus and the urge to have a bowel movement. You are able to resume normal, everyday activities immediately after. Typically, there are no post-treatment effects or complications. However, there may be slight spot bleeding a few days later, but heavy rectal bleeding is extremely rare. Avoid heavy straining, lifting, and taking aspirin. If you notice significant rectal bleeding, you should call your doctor’s office.

You may use Tylenol as needed and take a warm sitz bath daily to relieve discomfort. Stool softeners, fiber, and water intake will help ease your bowel movements while you heal.
 
 
Dr. Shu has 20 years of experience in treating hemorrhoids using non-surgical IRC treatments and has successfully treated over 2,000 hemorrhoid patients.

To learn more about our IRC treatment experience at One Stop Medical Center, please call us at (952) 922-2151, or email us at info@shuMD.com.

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