Infrared coagulation is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that treats small- to medium-sized internal hemorrhoids. During the procedure, heat from an intense beam of infrared light creates scar tissue, which eliminates the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid then dies, and a scar forms on the anal canal wall that keeps nearby veins in place so they don’t bulge out.
Each procedure can only treat one hemorrhoid at a time, and additional treatments can be scheduled at 10- to 14-day intervals. The procedure is performed in a physician’s office or outpatient ambulatory surgery center.
During the treatment, you may notice heat or experience some pain. Immediately following the procedure, you may feel like you need to complete a bowel movement.
After the Procedure
Seven to ten days after the treatment, you’ll experience bleeding due to the hemorrhoid falling off. It should stop on its own. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce any discomfort. Do not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 4-5 days prior to and 4-5 days after treatment to reduce bleeding risk.
Moving forward, your physician may recommend taking stool softeners to facilitate easier bowel movements. Any straining can cause the hemorrhoids to return.
Risks associated with coagulation therapy include:
- Substantial pain during the treatment
- Anal bleeding
The success of the procedure will generally be determined by your willingness to change your bowel habits to ensure easier stool passage.