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Questions and Answers

What is Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy?

Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy (Sacral Neuromodulation, delivered by the InterStim® System) uses an implantable device to send mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, located near the tailbone. The sacral nerves control the bladder and muscles related to urination. If the brain and sacral nerves are miscommunicating, the nerves can't tell the bladder to function properly.

The mild electrical pulses from Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy regulate the sacral nerves. This helps the brain and the nerves to communicate so the bladder and related muscles can function properly.

Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy is an option for managing the symptoms of overactive bladder for people who tried other treatments such as medications and behavioral therapy, and those treatments have not worked or were not well tolerated.

What do nerves have to do with urination?

The sacral nerves control the bladder and muscles related to urination. A breakdown of communication between the sacral nerves and the brain can lead to problems with storing and voiding urine. 

What are the benefits and potential side effects or complications of Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy?

For many people who suffer from overactive bladder, Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy may reduce symptoms that cannot be adequately treated with treatments like medications or behavioral therapy. Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy is reversible and can be discontinued at any time by turning off or removing the device. Unlike other surgical treatment options for OAB, Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy starts with an evaluation. During this evalution you can experience how it feels and how it works, prior to going forward with the implant procedure.

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

Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy 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 programming. These events may also resolve over time. There is a possibility that some may remain unresolved. See Important Safety Information for possible adverse events. Please consult your doctor. This therapy is not for everyone. A prescription is required.

How long has Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy been around?

The InterStim System was FDA-approved in 1997 for urge incontinence and in 1999 for urinary retention and significant symptoms of urgency-frequency. More than 175,000 people worldwide have received the InterStim System. It's a proven treatment option for people who have not had success with more conservative OAB treatments.

Can I get an MRI when I have an InterStim system?

Getting an MRI head scan may be possible under specific conditions. For more information, talk with your InterStim doctor.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy, visit www.everyday-freedom.com. If you are considering InterStim Therapy as a treatment option, you can also contact a Medtronic Education Specialist at (800) 664-5111. If you are currently receiving InterStim Therapy, contact Medtronic Patient Services at (800) 510-6735.

 

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: 19 Dec 2014

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If you do not have the InterStim System, contact a
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Medtronic Education Specialist
work (800) 664-5111
If you have an InterStim System, contact a
Medtronic
Medtronic Patient Services Specialist
work (800) 510-6735