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IRC (Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids) is a procedure that utilizes an infrared heat source to cut off the blood supply to the internal hemorrhoids, causing the vessels to coagulate and the hemorrhoids to contract. 

The procedure is effective in treating various types of external hemorrhoids, but it is most beneficial in treating internal hemorrhoids and prolapsed internal hemorrhoids that have fallen outside the anal hole. 

Benefits of the IRC procedure 

  • It is quick and painless 
  • It is nonsurgical 
  • It is effective 

Preparation for the Procedure 

Before the procedure, the patient will be issued with instructions on how to prepare for his/her IRC. The doctor may recommend an enema to cleanse the patient’s rectum. Enema is a procedure in which liquid or gas is injected into the rectum, to expel its content. 

The patient will not be asked to limit his/her diet prior to the procedure. The patient should make sure that his/her advance care plan is on file with the hospital and the physician. 

The patient should take a shower on the morning of the surgery and not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish. She/he will also be requested to remove any jewelry and body piercing. 

Procedure for IRC 

The Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids process is fairly fast, and can take minutes to perform, and it doesn’t require any sedation.  

During the procedure, a probe is positioned above hemorrhoid during the surgery. Light is administered in brief bursts, which induces the vessels to coagulate and eventually causes the hemorrhoids to shrink. As infrared light is applied, the patient may feel warmth in the rectal area. The procedure should not cause the patient much discomfort. 

Upon completion of the procedure, the warm sensation begins to disappear. However, the patient may continue to experience some discomfort in the rectal area approximately up to ten days after the procedure. 

How to Prevent the Risk of Hemorrhoids 

The occurrence of hemorrhoids can be prevented through: 

  • Eating high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables. This will help soften the stool and increase its bulk for smooth bowel movement. 
  • Drinking more water every day to soften the stool 
  • Staying active by exercising the body helps prevent constipation 
  • Avoid holding your breath or straining when passing stool as this increases pressure on the veins in the rectum 
  • Long periods of prolonged sitting should be avoided as this can increase veins in the anus 

Risks of Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids 

Just like any other treatment procedure, IRC also comes with possible risks and complications, which include: 

  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Difficulty urinating 
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids-hemorrhoids becoming bigger and full of blood clots. This may require additional treatment 
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