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About the Therapy
If you’ve tried other treatments for your constipation problems without success, you may want to consider a trial assessment of sacral neuromodulation with InterStim® Therapy. Sacral neuromodulation has been available since 1994 and has been used to treat more than 200,000 people around the world.
The InterStim neurostimulator is a tiny device that is inserted under your skin, usually above your buttocks. It sends mild electrical pulses to the nerves in your back that control your bowel, rectum and bladder. The neurostimulator works by stimulating your sacral nerves, helping you regain control of your bowel functions. If you have bladder problems as well as constipation, these can be treated at the same time.
To help discover if InterStim Therapy is right for you, Medtronic has created a trial assessment programme. You and your doctor can try InterStim Therapy without making a big commitment.
The evaluation of InterStim Therapy is done with the Verify™ Evaluation System and involves placing a thin wire under the skin in your lower back. The wire is connected to a small external neurostimulator, the Verify ENS, which you wear on a belt. The Verify ENS sends mild electrical pulses through the thin wire to your sacral nerves to check if those pulses can get your bowel working the way it should. During the evaluation phase, which typically lasts several days, you can continue many of your daily activities with caution.
The InterStim neurostimulator is implanted under your skin and sends mild electrical impulses to your sacral nerves. The neurostimulator contains a battery and electronics to create these impulses.
InterStim Therapy may offer several benefits. These include better control over bowel movements, and freedom from requiring manual help to defecate.
Side effects may include pain, skin irritation, infection, device problems, and movement of the electrodes. In most cases, these problems can be solved.
The InterStim® neurostimulator for overactive bladder, urinary retention, faecal incontinence and constipation.
With sacral neuromodulation, the InterStim device is surgically implanted to stimulate your sacral nerves with mild electrical pulses. The sacral nerves control your bladder and bowel. InterStim therapy is used to treat overactive bladder, urinary retention, faecal incontinence and constipation. If you have not experienced success with more standard treatments, this reversible treatment may be a good option for you.
The sacral nerves control your bladder, your bowel, your rectum and the muscles related to urinary and anal functions. By stimulating these nerves with a mild electric current, the neurostimulator helps your bowel, rectum and bladder to work as they should.
The InterStim Therapy system consists of:
Sacral neuromodulation may help you to regain control and avoid the embarrassment and frustration of bladder and bowel problems.
If you’ve tried other treatments for your bladder or bowel problems without success, or you’ve experienced intolerable side effects from medications, sacral neuromodulation with InterStim Therapy may provide you with relief from your difficulties with overactive bladder, urinary retention, faecal incontinence or constipation.
Sacral neuromodulation (also called sacral nerve stimulation) is reversible and can be discontinued at any time. People who have had InterStim Therapy for faecal incontinence have reported:
People who have had InterStim Therapy for constipation have reported:
People who have had InterStim Therapy for overactive bladder have reported:
People who have had InterStim Therapy for urinary retention have reported:
You and your doctor can test InterStim Therapy without making a big commitment.
The trial assessment involves placing a thin wire under the skin in your lower back. The wire is connected to a small external test stimulator, which you wear on a belt. The test stimulator sends mild electrical pulses through the thin wire to your sacral nerves. Those pulses may get your bladder and/or your bowel working the way it's supposed to. During the trial assessment, which typically lasts several days, you can continue many of your daily activities, with caution.
As with any medical treatment, some people may experience some of the following side effects with sacral neuromodulation:2,13
The number of people with these side effects has been very low2,13 and, in almost all cases they were solved. So, you need to talk to your doctor about your experience.
Muñoz-Duyos A, Navarro-Luna A, Brosa M, et al. Clinical and cost effectiveness of sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence. Br J Surg 2008; 95: 1037-1043.
Fraser C, Glazener C, Grant, A et al. Systematic review of the efficacy and safety of sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence. Aberdeen: Review Body for Interventional Procedures; 2004. Commissioned by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
Tjandra JJ, Chan MK, Yeh CH, Murray-Green C. Sacral nerve stimulation is more effective than optimal medical therapy for severe faecal incontinence: a randomized, controlled study. Dis Colon Rectum 2008; 51: 494-502.
Melenhorst J, Koch SM, Uludag O, et al. Sacral neuromodulation in patients with faecal incontinence: results of the first 100 permanent implantations. Colorectal Dis 2007; 9: 725-730.
Uludag O, Koch SM, van Gemert WG, et al. Sacral neuromodulation in patients with faecal incontinence: a single-centre study. Dis Colon Rectum 2004; 47: 1350-7.
Ganio E, Masin A, Ratto C, et al. on behalf of the GINS group. Sacral nerve modulation for chronic outlet constipation. 7th Int Meeting Coloproctology, Saint Vincent 2002, http://www.colorep.it/Rivista%20CEC/sacral_nerve_modulation_for_chro.htm
Holzer B, Rosen HR, Novi G, et al. Sacral nerve stimulation in patients with severe constipation. Dis Colon Rectum 2008; 51: 524-529.
Schmidt RA, Jonas U, Oleson KA, Janknegt RA, Hassouna MM, Siegel SW, Muñoz-Duyos A, Navarro-Luna A, Brosa M, et al. Sacral nerve stimulation for treatment of refractory urinary urge incontinence. J Urol 1999; 162: 352-357.
Hassouna MM, Siegel SW, Nyeholt AA, Elhilali MM, van Kerrebroeck PE, Das AK, et al. Sacral neuromodulation in the treatment of urgency-frequency symptoms: a multicenter study on efficacy and safety. J Urol 2000; 163: 1849-1854.
Cappellano F, Bertapelle P, Spinelli M, Catanzaro F, Carone R, Zanollo A, et al. for the Italian Group of Sacral Neuromodulation (GINS). Quality of life assessment in patients who undergo sacral neuromodulation implantation for urge incontinence: an additional tool for evaluating outcome. J Urol 2001; 166: 2277-2280.
Jonas U, Fowler CJ, Chancellor MB, Elhilali MM, Fall M, Gajewski JB, et al. Efficacy of sacral nerve stimulation for urinary retention: results 18 months after implantation. J Urol 2001; 165: 15-19.
Das AK, Carlson AM, Hull M, US MDT-103 Study Group. Improvement in depression and health-related quality of life after sacral nerve stimulation therapy for treatment of voiding dysfunction. Urology 2004; 64: 62-68.
Van Voskuilen AC, Ooerlemans DJ, Weil EH, de Bie RA, van Kerrebroeck PE. Long term results of neuromodulation by sacral nerve stimulation for lower urinary tract symptoms: a retrospective single centre study. Eur Urol 2006; 49: 366-372.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.