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Questions and Answers – Evaluation

Bowel Incontinence

Will my everyday activities be affected during the evaluation?

You should take it easy during the evaluation period. Avoid bending, stretching, or lifting heavy objects. You can usually continue to work throughout your evaluation if your job doesn’t require strenuous movement. Be aware that the evaluation wire can move. Keep your activity level low to moderate.

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Will the evaluation cure my condition?

No. The evaluation is temporary. The evaluation helps your doctor determine the next course of treatment for your bowel control problems. Once the wire is removed, your original symptoms will return.

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What does sacral neuromodulation feel like?

Sacral neuromodulation varies from person to person, but most people describe it as a slight pulling or tingling sensation in the pelvic area. It should not be painful. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

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What are the risks of the evaluation?

Complications can occur during the evaluation including movement of the wire, technical problems with the device, and some temporary pain.

In some cases, these issues can be resolved during the evaluation, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your experience. (See Important Safety Information for possible adverse events.)

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What is the next step after the evaluation?

If you had good results during the evaluation, you and your doctor may choose to use the InterStim™ System for long-term treatment of your symptoms.

If your evaluation results using the temporary lead are inconclusive, your doctor may recommend a second evaluation using a long-term lead or recommend a different treatment option.

Be sure to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the therapy with your doctor.

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What are the risks of long-term therapy with the InterStim™ System?

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

The InterStim™ System 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 such as MRI
  • Undesirable changes in urinary or bowel function
  • Uncomfortable stimulation (sometimes described as a jolting or shocking feeling)

Problems may be resolved with surgery, medical therapy such as drugs, or reprogramming. These events may also resolve over time. There is a possibility that some may remain unresolved. (See Important Safety Information for additional information.) Please consult your doctor. 

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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.