Dr. David Riedel of Alton Memorial Hospital’s Digestive Health Center with the Redfield infrared coagulator.

ALTON, IL -- A one-second pulse of light can provide relief from hemorrhoids with a device used at Alton Memorial  Hospital’s Digestive Health Center.

An infrared coagulator uses heat energy to cut off blood supply to the swollen areas and shrink the hemorrhoids with little or no pain, says Dr. David Riedel, gastroenterologist. In infrared coagulation, a small probe is used to zap tissue around the hemorrhoids for a second or two, causing blood vessels to coagulate. The total procedure takes five to 10 minutes and no anesthetic is needed. Patients feel only a mild sensation of warmth.

Infrared coagulation has been available in the United States for more than two decades, but has gained popularity in recent years, according to Redfield Corp. of New Jersey, which makes the machines used in the procedure. AMH physicians have had experience with the procedure since 1986. 

More than 10 million people in the U.S. suffer from hemorrhoids, but only a small percentage of patients actually require surgery. Hemorrhoids are swelling in the rectum or anal area that may protrude through the anus on straining. They usually contain enlarged veins and are most common in people over the age of 50.

You may have hemorrhoids if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  •   Bleeding during bowel movements;
  •   Protrusion during bowel movements;
  •   Itching in the anal area;
  •   Pain or sensitive lumps.

For more information about infrared coagulation or other services offered by Alton Memorial Hospital’s Digestive Health Center, call 618-463-7515.


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