Category Archives: Infrared Coagulation

Infrared coagulation (IRC) – Non Surgical Solution for Internal Hemorrhoids | Minnesota

Hemorrhoids describes both a series of blood vessels in the perianal area as well as the condition that afflicts them, typically in older adults. With age these hemorrhoids can become swollen and inflamed, resulting in itching, pain, bleeding, thrombosis, and infection. While not deadly, hemorrhoids can often be a nuisance to the point of debilitation. So how do we treat them?

There have been many methods devised to treat hemorrhoids since ancient times, ranging from medicinal plants, topical creams, to hemorrhoidectomy, rubber band ligation, and more. The most common method, which we use most often, is infrared coagulation, or IRC. Infrared coagulation is a non-surgical procedure that is a convenient and minimally invasive way to treat hemorrhoids.

There is generally no special preparation needed for IRC. During the procedure, a small probe will be placed into the anus which will flash infrared light onto the surface of the hemorrhoid. The heat from the infrared probe will burn the hemorrhoid, creating scar tissue that cuts off blood supply to the hemorrhoid and causes it to shrink and die.

You may feel some heat and pain, but the discomfort is minimal, and the treatment only takes a few minutes.

After the procedure you may feel the urge to defacate or a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. These are temporary. It is also possible to experience some rectal bleeding, which should stop on its own.

It’s a good idea to take some stool softener to help ease bowel movements in the days following the procedure. Do not take aspirin or any NSAIDs. It is also a good idea to regularly exercise and maintain proper diet and bowel habits going forward.

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

What are the Best Treatments for Hemorrhoids? | Minneapolis & St Paul

The term “hemorrhoid” has been used to refer to both normal anatomic tissue and pathologic structure. Hemorrhoid diseases are swollen and varicose blood vessels in the lower rectum. They are among the most common causes of anal complaints in the office visits.

Hemorrhoids diseases include internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids, anal tags, thrombosis of hemorrhoids and mixed hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are graded from I to IV based on the degree of prolapse. Besides causing anal itching, pain, bleeding and prolapse, hemorrhoids could cause other complications, such as thrombosis, anemia, and infection. Moreover, many hemorrhoid patients have a comorbidity of anal fissure, fistula, or anal warts. Because no single treatment modality can fix all hemorrhoids, a true hemorrhoid clinic will offer multiple treatment modalities and options to meet a patient’s specific needs and provide complete care.

If you are treated with single modality for your hemorrhoids, regardless of the severity, type of hemorrhoids, and associated anorectal conditions, it leads to poor results because of poor quality care.

Internal hemorrhoid Grade 1
Very early hemorrhoids can often be effectively dealt with by dietary and lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes should also be part of the treatment plan for more advanced hemorrhoids.
1. Eating plenty of high-fiber foods
2. Drinking plenty of fluids
3. Keeping stool soft
4. Good toilet habits
5. Doing exercise regularly, but avoid heavy lifting
6. Reducing weight

Internal hemorrhoid Grade 1-2
Infrared coagulation (IRC) is a non-surgical treatment that is fast, well tolerated, and remarkably complication-free. The infrared light quickly coagulates the vessels that provide the hemorrhoid with blood, causing the hemorrhoids to shrink and recede.

Internal hemorrhoid Grade 3
The third grade internal hemorrhoids can be treated with the combination of infrared coagulation and rubber band ligation (banding). Rubber band ligation is widely used for the treatment of more advanced (more prolapsed) internal hemorrhoids where the prolapsed hemorrhoidal tissue is pulled into a double-sleeved cylinder to allow the placement of rubber bands around the tissue. Over time, the ligated tissue dies off. Rubber band ligation downgrades the hemorrhoids to grade 1 or 2, so some patients may need to do Infra-Red Coagulation (IRC) treatments after rubber band ligation.

Internal hemorrhoid Grade 4
A hemorrhoidectomy surgically removes the tissue that causes bleeding or protrusion. It is done in a doctor’s office, surgical center, or hospital under anesthesia and may require a period of inactivity.

External hemorrhoidal tags (anal tags)
Small and asymptomatic tags don’t need any treatment. If symptomatic, anal tags can easily be removed in the office using a local anesthetic and a radiofrequency device.

Thrombosed external hemorrhoids
These hemorrhoids are typically treated with either incision to remove the clot or with external hemorrhoidectomy. Simply draining the clot usually relieves the pain immediately, but it may not work well if multiple thromboses exist as it can also lead to recurrence, so it is better for patients with multiple thromboses to completely excise the thrombosed hemorrhoids.

External hemorrhoids
Small and asymptomatic external hemorrhoids don’t need any treatment, however most patients will have an intermittent flare up. Eventually patients may need surgery (external hemorrhoidectomy) if you have large external hemorrhoids and/or persistent symptomatic external hemorrhoids.

FAQs of Infrared Coagulation | Minnesota

A hemorrhoid is a common illness that numerous Americans suffer from. Approximately three out of four adults will have hemorrhoids at some point in their life. If you have anorectal symptoms, such as anal itching, rectal bleeding, anal lumps, and you suspect hemorrhoids , you should always be evaluated with a thorough evaluation by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan and to exclude a serious illness.

GREAT NEWS ABOUT HEMORRHOIDS! Infrared coagulation, or IRC, a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure is available to treat hemorrhoids. This blog is to answer the common questions on the IRC with the FAQs.

What is infra-red coagulation?
Infrared coagulation (IRC) has quickly become the world’s leading office treatment for hemorrhoids and is preferred over other methods because it is fast, well-tolerated, and virtually 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.

IRC is more effective and fewer infections than sclerotherapy, and may be better tolerated than rubber band ligation in most cases.

How long is the procedure?
Each treatment lasts about a couple of minutes, but the severity of the hemorrhoid as well as your comfort level is considered.

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 some discomfort from anoscope. This treatment is available to be done during a regular office visit and does not require any special preparation, anesthesia, or medication or salves.

How should I prepare for the procedure?
In most cases, there is no preparation necessary. The physician will need to examine you to decide on the ideal treatment plan. Try to have a bowel movement 30 minutes before coming into the office.

Who are the Best Candidates for Infrared Coagulation (IRC)?
Infrared coagulation can be used to treat the early stages of hemorrhoids, and it is most effective in grade 1-2 hemorrhoids. If you’re suffering from irritating internal hemorrhoids that continue to cause itching, discomfort, pain, bleeding and other symptoms, and it does not respond to conservative self-management, IRC treatments might be a good solution.
How is Infrared Coagulation Procedure Performed?

Before IRC procedure is performed, Dr. Shu gently inserts the anoscope (a very short, 3-4 inch rigid metal tube), then uses 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.

What is the Recovery Time of Infrared Coagulation Procedure?
After the IRC procedure, you may feel mild discomfort in the anus and the urge to have a bowel movement sometimes. You are able to resume normal everyday activities immediately afterward. Typically, there are no post-treatment effects. However, there may be slight spot bleeding a few days later, but heavy rectal bleeding is extremely rare. Avoid heavy straining, lifting, and 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. A stool softener, fiber, and water will help ease your bowel movement while you heal.
How many visits are required?

This depends on how severe the hemorrhoid problem is, the location of the hemorrhoids, and your individual response to the procedure. Most patients require 4 visits every two weeks.
Will the hemorrhoids come back?

Does it come back?
Recurring hemorrhoids in different locations may occur in some patients. If this happens, infra-red coagulation, rubber band ligation or repeat hemorrhoidectomy 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 does hundreds of hemorrhoid treatments every year. He offers rubber band ligation and hemorrhoidectomy for the most severe cases if necessary. He also treats other anorectal diseases such as anal fissure, anorectal abscess, anal polyp and anal warts.

Dr. Shu has had extensive experience in treating hemorrhoids with non-surgical IRC treatments in the past two decades, and he has successfully treated more than two thousand hemorrhoids patients with almost ten thousand IRC treatments. Please call 952-922-2151 if you need help to treat your symptomatic hemorrhoids.

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