Infrared coagulation (IRC) is an outpatient procedure used to treat internal hemorrhoids. A small probe is inserted in the anus and makes contact with the small area above the hemorrhoid. The probe then emits short bursts of infrared light, lasting only a second or two. This exposure coagulates, or hardens, the blood vessels and veins above the hemorrhoid. Scar tissue develops, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink, shrivel and go away over the course of a few weeks (this procedure may take 5 to 8 applications to be effective).
What to Expect
Infrared coagulation is a non-surgical procedure used to treat hemorrhoids on an outpatient basis. The patient can expect to feel a brief sensation of heat, but it shouldn’t be very painful. Complications associated with this procedure are rare, but can include infection or bleeding. Local anesthetics can be used, but usually aren’t necessary.
How to Prepare
Most patients can expect to return to their daily activities as early as the same day as the infrared coagulation, but should avoid any heavy lifting or straining for about a week. Post-treatment side effects are rare, but people may feel full or bloated or have an urge to have a bowel movement immediately following the procedure. Minimal bleeding can happen a few days later. Follow any instructions provided by the health care provider.