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Comparing Rubber Band Ligation and Infrared Coagulation for Hemorrhoid Treatment

Medical experts estimate that hemorrhoids occur in about 50 percent of the population by age 50. This means that millions experience the daily discomfort and pain of this condition. Hemorrhoids occur for a wide range of reasons – constipation, straining at bowel movements, heavy lifting and often even pregnancy. These activities may lead to increased pressure within the hemorrhoidal veins which causes them to swell.

In most cases, the discomfort of hemorrhoids can be ameliorated by topical treatments. However, if the condition does not respond, sufferers can eliminate the swelling and pain through minimally invasive procedures such as rubber band ligation and infrared coagulation.

Rubber band ligation is a procedure performed in a physician’s office, and is typically effective for roughly 8 out of every 10 patients. During rubber band ligation, the physician uses a viewing instrument to see clearly into the anus and finds the hemorrhoids. These are held in place while a device places a rubber band around its base. This band stays there for about a week, cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoid which shrinks and eventually falls off.

A scar is formed where the hemorrhoid had been, holding the veins back from protruding in the anal canal. There is typically bleeding and sharp pain immediately after the procedure, but most patients are able to return to regular activities right away. Your doctor may recommend a painkiller such as acetaminophen for a day or two following the procedure.

Infrared coagulation is another treatment option. During this procedure, the physician uses a device that creates a beam of infrared light that causes blood to coagulate. The heat from the light causes scar tissue, which cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Because there is no blood reaching the hemorrhoid, it shrivels and falls off in a matter of days.

As with other procedures, the scar tissue from this infrared coagulation keeps the veins from bulging in the anal canal. Research finds that about 9 out of 10 patients successfully get rid of the hemorrhoids using infrared coagulation.

Both procedures are quick and relatively safe and require no anesthesia. However, the patients who opt for infrared coagulation have less pain immediately after the procedure (the first 24 to 48 hours), and the infrared coagulation procedure has higher positive results. Those afflicted with hemorrhoids need to talk to their physician before choosing a treatment option in order to make the best choice.

Infrared Coagulator by Redfield Corp.