Degenerative Disc Disease

Chronic Constipation Your Health

About the Therapy

About InterStim™ 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.

What Is It?

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.

Verify System

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.


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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.

More: InterStim™ neurostimulator

Benefits and Risks

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.


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What Is It?

What Is InterStim™ Therapy?


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.

How it works

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.

About the InterStim Therapy system

The InterStim Therapy system consists of:

  • The implantable neurostimulator, which is like a pacemaker, implanted under the skin
  • A thin wire that carries the mild electrical pulses to the nerves controlling the pelvic floor, including the bowel and the bladder
  • A hand-held patient programmer that allows you to adjust the strength of the stimulation and to turn the system on or off.

Sacral neuromodulation may help you to regain control and avoid the embarrassment and frustration of bladder and bowel problems.


Benefits and Risks

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.