This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy (Sacral Neuromodulation), delivered by the InterStim™ system, for the treatment of chronic fecal incontinence. Please bear in mind that the experience is specific to this particular person. Not everyone who receives Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story.
James is an active member of his church and a dedicated advocate for the homeless. In his role, James regularly speaks at churches and universities. When he began experiencing bowel control problems in 2010, he had to severely restrict his activities.
"It limited me in so many ways," James says. "I didn't know when I would have an accident. The urges weren't there."
When James was in public, away from the security of his own bathroom, he had to make a plan. "The first thing I would do was to find out where the bathroom was and determine how quickly I could get there. I couldn't do my daily activities—all the simple things we take for granted were compromised."
After special diets and medications brought no relief, James' doctor referred him to another specialist to learn more about Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy delivered by the InterStim system. James decided to go forward with the evaluation, to see if this treatment option was right for him.
"I was very excited for the screening test because I hoped this treatment would give me back more of my life," he says. The evaluation was a success and James was told he was a candidate for long-term therapy. A week later, he had the InterStim system placed.
"The procedure was easy for me," he says. "I was in and out of the hospital in the same day." In the weeks following the procedure, his doctor adjusted the stimulation settings to respond to the changes in James' bowel patterns. James adopted a new diet and increased his fiber intake. Since then, he has had complete control.
James' life today is full. He serves meals, cooks, cleans, and spends time talking with men at the local homeless shelter. He speaks to groups, educating them about homelessness and how they can help.
He no longer spends time worrying about where the bathroom is when he's away from home. "It seems like every day keeps getting better and better for me," James says.
Every six months he visits his doctor to have his therapy checked. He is on a strict diet and watches his fiber intake closely. He takes no medication for bowel control.
James has exciting plans for his future. "I'm getting back into music," he says. "I play the piano and the guitar, and I'm going to take lessons so I can improve. I wouldn't have done these things before."
Medtronic invited this patient to share his story candidly. Not everyone who receives Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story. Talk with your doctor to determine if Sacral Neuromodulation is right for you. In addition to risks related to a surgical procedure, complications associated with the InterStim system can include pain at the implant sites, new pain, infection, lead (thin wire) movement/migration, device problems, interactions with certain other devices or diagnostic equipment such as MRI, undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function, uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling), and others. Surgery is required to remove the InterStim system. Please refer to Important Safety Information. Always discuss the potential risks and benefits of the therapy with your physician. This therapy is not for everyone. A prescription is required.