What is Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids?

Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids (IRC) uses infrared light as a heat source to cut off blood supply to internal hemorrhoids, which then causes coagulation of the vessels and shrinkage of the hemorrhoids.

Benefits & Risks

Overall, IRC is a safe and quick procedure, and most patients return to their normal routine the same day.

As with any procedure or treatment, you may experience side effects. These include bleeding, infection, pain, swelling, or difficulty urinating. In some cases, your hemorrhoid may get bigger and become full of blood clots (thrombosed hemorrhoid), which requires additional treatment.

What to Expect

You will be given specific instructions to prepare for your Infrared Coagulation procedure. Before your procedure, your doctor may recommend an enema to cleanse the rectum. You will not be asked to limit your diet before the procedure.

The IRC procedure usually lasts 10 minutes. During the procedure, a probe is placed above the hemorrhoid. Bursts of light are applied, which causes coagulation of the vessels and eventual shrinkage of the hemorrhoids. You may feel warmth in the rectal areaas the infrared light is applied. You should only experience minimal discomfort throughout the procedure.

After your procedure, the warm sensation should begin to subside. You may continue to experience some discomfort in the rectal area for up to 10 days post-procedure. Some symptoms may include bleeding or spotting. You may return to your normal activities but avoid heavy lifting for a few days following the procedure. Since sedation is not required for this procedure, you will be able to operate a vehicle once after your IRC.

In some cases, you may need more than one IRC procedure to shrink your hemorrhoid.