Hemorrhoids are a common malady that medical experts estimate three out of every four adults on the planet will experience at some point in their life. Sometimes a hemorrhoidal flare, related to swollen blood vessels in the rectum and anal region, will come and go without too much fanfare. Often, however, hemorrhoids can cause ongoing bleeding, irritation, and pain that’s hard to ignore.
Betsy Clemens, MD is a hemorrhoid expert with a busy medical practice in Creve Coeur, Missouri – Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center. She’s skilled at diagnosing and treating all types of hemorrhoids. Because Dr. Clemens completely understands her patients’ reluctance to undergo hemorrhoid surgery and the long recovery process afterward, she often recommends infrared coagulation (IRC) therapy for symptomatic hemorrhoids.
With IRC, Dr. Clemens can effectively treat your hemorrhoids and relieve your symptoms, while sparing you the pain and inconvenience of surgery.
What is IRC therapy?
Short for infrared coagulation, IRC therapy utilizes infrared light to reduce or shrink hemorrhoids down to a normal, asymptomatic size. The goal of IRC is to eliminate the bleeding and irritation caused by hemorrhoids and subsequently remove the need for surgery.
It’s most effective for internal hemorrhoids and prolapsed internal hemorrhoids that have fallen outside the anal opening, but Dr. Clemens has also noted significant success in using IRC to treat some types of external hemorrhoids.
How does IRC shrink hemorrhoids?
During IRC therapy, infrared light energy applied to the targeted hemorrhoid in a series of quick bursts. This causes the blood flow to the engorged hemorrhoid to decrease through coagulation (clotting). Without a fresh blood supply, the swollen vessel(s) shrinks to normal size and your symptoms resolve.
Does IRC hurt?
The infrared energy used for IRC is delivered via a probe that’s designed with your comfort and safety in mind. Some patients note a brief sensation of heat when the probe engages, but IRC is generally well-tolerated and requires no anesthesia.
How long does the IRC procedure take and what’s recovery like?
Dr. Clemens discusses the procedure and aftercare in detail with you before the therapy. Otherwise, it takes time to check in and change your clothes before and after the procedure, but the therapy itself lasts less than a minute. You can expect to resume normal activities immediately after you leave the office.
Will my hemorrhoids return after IRC?
IRC can provide long-term hemorrhoid relief. There isn’t a treatment available, including surgery, that can “cure” hemorrhoids or guarantee you won’t develop them in the future.
You can help prevent your risks for hemorrhoids by:
- Eating adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods to soften your stools and increase their bulk, which helps prevent straining during a bowel movement, which is sometimes responsible for hemorrhoids
- Drinking six to eight glasses of water per day to help keep your stools soft
- Not holding your breath or straining when trying to pass stool since this increases pressure on the veins in your rectum
- Staying active to help prevent constipation and lose excess weight that may be contributing to your hemorrhoids
- Avoiding long periods of prolonged sitting, which can increase on veins in the anus
For future hemorrhoid problems you may experience, IRC remains an attractive treatment option because it’s quick, performed in the office, essentially painless, generally well-tolerated and offers effective results.
Quit living with your hemorrhoid symptoms. Schedule a visit at Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center today.