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Infrared Coagulation for Hemorrhoid Treatment
Infrared coagulation (IRC)
is an outpatient procedure to shrink an internal hemorrhoid.
How to prepare for IRC:
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for the procedure. You may need an enema before the procedure. An enema is medicine given to empty out your colon.
What will happen during IRC:
You do not need anesthesia or sedation for IRC. You should not feel pain during the procedure. Your healthcare provider will insert an anoscope into your anus. An anoscope is a small tube that helps your healthcare provider see inside your anus more clearly. He will heat the tissue near the hemorrhoid. This will stop blood flow to the hemorrhoid and help it shrink. You may feel heat during the procedure.
What you can expect after IRC:
You may feel a dull ache or pressure for up to 3 days after the procedure. You may have bleeding from your rectum or with bowel movements for 2 weeks after the procedure. The hemorrhoid may fall off and come out with your bowel movement in 10 to 14 days. You may bleed more at that time.
Risks of IRC:
You may need more than one procedure to shrink your hemorrhoid. You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. You may have pain or swelling. You may have a problem urinating after the procedure. Your hemorrhoid may get bigger and become full of blood clots (thrombosed hemorrhoid). You may need another procedure to treat it.
Call 911 for any of the following:
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
Seek care immediately if:
- Blood soaks through your underwear.
- You have severe pain in your stomach or anus.
- You cannot urinate, or you urinate very little.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- You have a fever.
- You have pain when you urinate or have a bowel movement.
- You have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need the following:
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Take a warm sitz bath:
The warm water can help decrease pain and swelling. Fill a bathtub with 4 to 6 inches of warm water. You may also use a sitz bath pan that fits inside a toilet bowl. Sit in the sitz bath for 15 minutes. Do this 2 to 3 times a day, or as directed.
Constipation can increase your risk for another hemorrhoid. It can also increase pressure in your anus and prevent the hemorrhoid from shrinking. Do the following to prevent constipation:
- Eat a variety of high-fiber foods. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and bran. You may need a fiber supplement.
- Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink more liquids than usual. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
- Exercise regularly. Ask about the best exercise plan for you.
Return to work:
You can usually return to work right away.
Follow up with your doctor as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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