BY FRANK CALIENDO M.D.
There are many reasons why our practice is one of the leaders in colorectal surgery and advanced treatments of colon and rectum conditions on Long Island. Our focus on patient education and patient wellness is chief among them. We also offer state-of-the-art treatments for various conditions that reduce the risk of complications and improve the chances of successful treatment.
Many of our patients suffer from internal and external hemorrhoids. Thankfully there are many treatments to help address these problems. Let’s consider the basics with regard to hemorrhoids and then focus on infrared photocoagulation treatment.
What is a Hemorrhoid?
Also known as piles, hemorrhoids refer to swollen veins found in the lower rectum and anus. They are comparable to varicose veins, and it’s estimated that three out off four adults suffer from hemorrhoids occasionally. While hemorrhoids may occur without serious discomfort, they can lead to bleeding, itchiness, and even pain.
Causes of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are most often caused by various kinds of pressure and strain. The most common reasons they occur include:
- Straining while making a bowel movement
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic constipation
- Sitting on the toilet for long stretches of time
- Low-fiber diet
- Anal intercourse
Both obesity and pregnancy have been shown to increase one’s risk for developing hemorrhoids.
About Infrared Photocoagulation
Also known as coagulation therapy, infrared photocoagulation is a treatment designed to address small and medium-sized internal hemorrhoids. The infrared light used during photocoagulation creates scar tissue and cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, effectively reducing its severity.
Ideal Candidates for Infrared Photocoagulation
Good candidates for infrared photocoagulation are people who suffer from internal hemorrhoids that cause pain and irritation and that do not respond to other kinds of lifestyle changes or non-invasive treatments. Similarly, the hemorrhoids may be such that other minimally invasive therapies may be ineffective.
What to Expect During Infrared Photocoagulation
During infrared photocoagulation, patients may experience sensations of pain and heat. Following treatment, it is not uncommon for patients to feel an urge to move their bowels or have a feeling of fullness. Patients will notice bleeding from their anus roughly 7 to 10 days after treatment, which is the result of the hemorrhoid falling out.
How Many Coagulation Therapy Sessions are Needed?
In general, one infrared photocoagulation treatment is necessary to address a hemorrhoid. However, only one hemorrhoid can be treated during a single session. This is done to help reduce the potential of side effects. Additional hemorrhoids can be treated in another coagulation therapy session roughly 10 to 14 days later.
The Results of Infrared Photocoagulation
Infrared photocoagulation is generally quite successful at treating internal hemorrhoids. Approximately 7 in 10 patients who undergo coagulation therapy experience positive results from treatment. That said, people who have serious issues with recurring hemorrhoids may still require surgery to properly address their problem.
Is Infrared Photocoagulation Right for Me?
During the consultation process, we will be more than happy to discuss all of these matters in greater detail. We will help you get the treatment and relief you need, and we will answer all of your questions and concerns about potential treatment options.
Contact Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists
To learn more about various treatments for hemorrhoids and how our team can help you, be sure to contact our team of colorectal surgery specialists today. The doctors of Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists will work with you to provide relief and restore wellness.