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Benefits and Risks – Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy

Bowel Incontinence

If you’ve tried other treatments without success, Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy (Sacral Neuromodulation delivered through the InterStim™ System) may provide you relief from chronic bowel incontinence.


Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy is a reversible treatment option that can be discontinued at any time by turning off or removing the device. Many people with Medtronic Bowel Control Therapy have reported:

  • Significantly improved quality of life
  • Proven control to stop or greatly reduce accidents

Studies of patients followed for one year found that seven out of every 10 patients experienced at least a 50% reduction in weekly accidents compared with accidents before starting Medtronic therapy.1


As you consider the possible benefits, you should also explore the risks. The InterStim™ System has risks similar to any surgical procedure, including swelling, bruising, and bleeding. Complications can include pain at the implant site, new pain, infection, lead (thin wire) movement, technical or device problems, undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function, and uncomfortable stimulation. Any of these situations may require additional surgery or cause your symptoms to return. Always discuss the potential risks and benefits of the therapy with your doctor.

In most cases, these issues can be resolved, so talk to your doctor about your experience. (See Important Safety Information for possible complications.) This therapy is not for everyone. Please consult your doctor. A prescription is required.



Wexner SD, Coller JA, Devroede G, et al. Sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence: Results of a 120-patient prospective multicenter study. Ann Surg. 2010;251(3):441-449.

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.