Treatment of Haemorrhoids by Infrared Thermocoagulation

  • Roger J. Leicester


Thermal methods for the treatment of haemorrhoids have been used for many hundreds of years, ranging from heating, using various forms of cautery or heater probe, to freezing, as in cryotherapy. Most coagulation procedures, including the infrared technique, cause tissue coagulation by the action of heat increasing the temperature of the tissue. Historically speaking, infrared coagulation developed as a spin-off of medical laser technology. Both infrared and laser photocoagulation have decided advantages over procedures that use high-frequency electric current. Diathermy electrocoagulation uses the human body as the electrical conductor and a dissipater or neutral electrode is therefore necessary in most cases. Due to the variation in water content causing irregular distribution of electrolyte conductors in the tissue, it is not possible to predict the depth of necrosis when using electrocoagulation. In rare cases, burning may occur at areas of the body away from the point of application, where several current paths converge. In addition, metallic coagulation probes tend to adhere to the tissue.


Laser Photocoagulation Rubber Band Ligation Heater Probe Tissue Coagulation Historically Speaking 
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Further Reading

  1. Leicester RJ, Nicholls RJ, Mann CV (1981), Infrared coagulation: a new treatment for haemorrhoids. Dis Colon Rectum 24 (8): 602 - 5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Templeton JL, Spence RA, Kennedy TL, Parks TG, Mackenzie G, Hanna WA (1983) Comparison of infrared coagulation and rubber band ligation for first-and second-degree haemorrhoids: a randomised prospective clinical trial. British Medical Journal Clinical Research Ed. 286(6375):1387-9Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger J. Leicester

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