Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a very common and frustrating problem. They occur in both men and women, are unusual before age twenty, and are especially common in patients forty-five to sixty-five years of age. The development of hemorrhoids is associated with advancing age, diarrhea, constipation, pregnancy, pelvic tumors, and prolonged sitting.

The most common problems that hemorrhoids cause are bleeding, itching, prolapse, and pain. But rectal bleeding can also be a sign of colon cancer, so it is important that patients see a gastroenterologist so that a correct diagnosis can be made and cancer can be ruled out.

Hemorrhoid symptoms may respond to fiber supplements, creams, or suppositories. Rubber band ligation is effective, but complications include severe bleeding and infection. Surgery is also an effective treatment, but is painful and requires patients to miss work.

Infrared coagulation of hemorrhoids (IRC) was introduced twenty years ago and is an excellent non-surgical option for patients with internal hemorrhoids. This is a safe, painless, office-based procedure. Unlike a colonoscopy, no laxatives are required prior to infrared coagulation. A small probe is placed above the hemorrhoid and a few short bursts of infrared light are applied. There are no nerve endings in this area so patients do not feel pain. The infrared light quickly coagulates the vessels that provide the hemorrhoid with blood, causing the hemorrhoids to shrink and recede. Patients may return to work immediately after the procedure. Patients generally require two to three treatments at thirty to ninety-day intervals.

After undergoing infrared coagulation of hemorrhoids, it is important that patients keep their stools soft and avoid constipation. A fiber supplement is usually effective.

Recurrence of hemorrhoids after infrared coagulation is very unusual. If hemorrhoids do recur, then infrared coagulation can be repeated.

Texarkana Gastroenterology Consultants is the only group offering infrared coagulation of hemorrhoids in the Texarkana area. We have treated over nine hundred and fifty patients with excellent results and no complications. The procedure is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. You may call us directly for an appointment at 903-792-8030 - no referral is necessary.

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