IRC has quickly become one of the most popular choices of hemorrhoid treatment by both physicians and patients alike.
Infrared coagulation is a type of procedure that is used to remove hemorrhoids. A small probe is inserted in the anal canal above the line of sensation, or the anorectal line, so that it is only minimally felt. The probe supplies infrared light, which will create scar tissue above the hemorrhoid. This leads to a lack of blood supply to the hemorrhoid.
- Hemorrhoids are essentially clumps of blood vessels that have stretched over time and created a bulge.
- The process of infrared coagulation usually only takes less than ten minutes, but a few sessions may be required for complete removal.
When Should IRC Be Utilized?
Hemorrhoids are significantly more common than people typically are comfortable discussing. In fact, most people will experience a hemorrhoid at some point in their life, especially since it is very common during pregnancy. Anytime that a hemorrhoid is present, infrared coagulation may be considered as a treatment option. However, there are always a number of considerations that a physician must take into account prior to deciding the best procedure for the specific patient in question.
Typically, infrared coagulation is only recommended in the case of small to medium sized hemorrhoids. Additionally, this type of procedure may not be required for short-lived, small hemorrhoids if other measures resolve the symptoms.
The Advantages Of IRC
One of the main advantages of infrared coagulation is that the time frame required is so little in comparison to many other treatment options. For example, a traditional hemorrhoidectomy requires anesthesia, and patients are warned that a few weeks will be required for physical recovery to be complete. Even if infrared coagulation has to be repeated several times, which isn't always the case, the time invested will still be notably less as the recovery time frame is minimal with IRC. Additionally, recurrence is rare if the proper diet is followed.
Additionally, the shortened recovery time means that less time off of work is required, which is appealing to patients who cannot take time away from their regular daily activities for long.
In general, infrared coagulation is considered to have very little risk associated. There are no cuts required as an existing canal is utilized. Also, the actual infrared exposure is applied above the line of sensation.