Benefits and Risks – InterStim Therapy

If you’ve tried other treatments without success, or you’ve experienced intolerable side effects from medications, InterStim Therapy may provide you relief from the symptoms of overactive bladder.


InterStim Therapy may reduce symptoms for many people who suffer from overactive bladder. InterStim Therapy is reversible and can be discontinued at any time by turning off or removing the device. Unlike other surgical treatment options for OAB, InterStim Therapy starts with an evaluation, where you can experience how it feels and see if it will help reduce your symptoms, prior to going forward with the implant procedure.


Implanting an InterStim Therapy system has risks similar to any surgical procedure, including swelling, bruising, bleeding, and infection. Talk with your doctor about ways to minimize these risks.

Sacral neuromodulation might cause you to experience some of these side effects:

  • Pain at the implant site or new pain
  • Infection or skin irritation
  • Lead (thin wire) movement/migration
  • Device problems
  • Interactions with certain other devices or diagnostic equipment
  • Undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function
  • Uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling

Problems may be resolved with surgery, medication, or reprogramming. These events may also resolve over time. There is a possibility that some may remain unresolved. See Important Safety Information for possible adverse events. This therapy is not for everyone. Please consult your doctor. A prescription is required.


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.

Last updated: 10 Feb 2012

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If you are not receiving InterStim Therapy, contact a
Medtronic Education Specialist
work (800) 664-5111
If you are receiving InterStim Therapy, contact a
Medtronic Patient Services Specialist
work (800) 510-6735