BACKGROUND: The ideal therapy for hemorrhoids is always debated. For early grades of the disease, many different modalities of treatment have been proposed. Some are effective but are more painful, others are less painful but their efficacy is not assured on long term. Infrared photocoagulation has emerged as a new addition to the list. In this procedure, the tissue is coagulated by infrared radiation. During treatment, mechanical pressure and radiation energy are applied simultaneously to ablate the blood supply to the hemorrhoidal mass. METHODS: In the present retrospective study, the effect of infrared coagulation on patients with early grades of hemorrhoids is described. In a separate study, a comparison is made between Infrared coagulation and rubber band ligation in terms of their effectiveness and discomfort. RESULTS: 212 patients were treated by infrared coagulation and were followed up for a period of 18 months. Only 28 patients had persistence or recurrence of bleeding. Overall ratio of comfort and patient satisfaction from pain and bleeding was quite satisfactory. The comparative study showed that though rubber band ligation is more effective, it is a more painful procedure. CONCLUSION: These studies shows that Infrared coagulation for hemorrhoids in early stages could prove to be a easy and effective alternative to conventional methods as it is quick, less painful and safe. The procedure can be repeated in case of recurrence and should be considered as the first choice in early hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids; Infrared rays; Hemostatics; Patient-focused care; Ambulatory surgical procedures