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What Is Infrared Coagulation?

Andrew Kirmayer
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Infrared coagulation is an outpatient treatment conducted in a doctor’s office and used to correct and alleviate the symptoms of internal hemorrhoids. The procedure itself is not a complex process. A proctoscope and infrared coagulator are inserted into the anus, and an infrared light is activated inside the hemorrhoid for up to one-and-a-half seconds. This infrared light causes the hemorrhoidal vein to coagulate so blood cannot flow to the area. All of this happens one to three millimeters below the surface of the skin.

There is no pain during infrared coagulation, although the patient can be uncomfortable from some heat from the probe. Routine schedules can be resumed the same day except for those that require strenuous movements and heavy lifting. Bleeding is a common occurrence for one to two weeks after the procedure. It is also during this time that the coagulated hemorrhoid will shrivel up and then harden before it falls off, at which point that specific hemorrhoid is completely fixed.

Infrared coagulation is most effective for small and medium sized internal hemorrhoids. Appropriate changes in diet and exercise can assure that the problem does not return. A doctor will usually prescribe a stool softener after the procedure to make bowl movements less uncomfortable and less irritating to the affected area. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually enough to ward off any discomfort, but it is important to consult a doctor on using anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin just before or after infrared coagulation because they can cause bleeding and blood clotting complications.

Infrared coagulation is often an expensive hemorrhoid treatment option. It is still less costly than more invasive surgical procedures used to treat hemorrhoids or the consequences of not treating the condition at all. In some cases, more than one treatment is necessary to completely abate the problem. It is also a good idea to inquire about the physician’s skill using the necessary instruments, which may have a direct impact on the outcome of the procedure.

Not all doctors are skilled at infrared coagulation, so it can take time to find a physician who can perform the procedure. More serious problems can occur if the procedure is not done correctly or is done to treat people with other underlying conditions or who take certain medications, such as anti-coagulants. When the site of the infected tissue heals, scarring will protect the area and prevent the hemorrhoid from swelling up again.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Andrew Kirmayer
By Andrew Kirmayer , Former Writer
Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various industries and disciplines. With a degree in Creative Writing, he is skilled at writing compelling articles, blogs, press releases, website content, web copy, and more, all with the goal of making the web a more informative and engaging place for all audiences.

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Andrew Kirmayer

Andrew Kirmayer

Former Writer

Andrew Kirmayer, a freelance writer with his own online writing business, creates engaging content across various...
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