If you've tried several treatments for overactive bladder without success, don't lose hope. There may be another option: Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy (Sacral Neuromodulation, delivered by the InterStim™ System).
With Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy's two-step process, you can test it out to see if it will work for you before making a long-term commitment. The testing period is called an "evaluation"or a "trial assessment."
Your doctor will tell you about the evaluation procedure and discuss the options for using either a temporary lead (a thin wire) or a long-term lead for the evaluation.
You and your doctor will decide together whether your evaluation was successful. The evaluation is considered a success if you experience a significant reduction in your symptoms.
For example, your evaluation may be considered a success if you went to the bathroom 20 times per day before the evaluation and went 10 or fewer times during the evaluation.
The evaluation starts with a minimally invasive procedure.
For the basic evaluation, which uses a temporary lead, your doctor will numb a small area of your upper buttock and insert a thin wire near your sacral nerves, located near the tailbone. The advanced evaluation uses a long-term lead that is fully implanted; one end of the lead is inserted near your sacral nerves. With both types of evaluations, the lead is connected to a small, external neurostimulator that you'll wear on your waistband like a pager. The neurostimulator generates mild electrical pulses that are carried to the sacral nerve by the lead.
The length of the evaluation may vary among doctors and depends on the type of evaluation you undergo. Generally, if the temporary lead is used, the evaluation period lasts from 3 to 7 days; if the long-term lead is used, the evaluation period may last up to 14 days.
Complications can occur during the evaluation, including movement of the wire, technical problems with the device, and some temporary pain. In most cases, these issues can be resolved, so talk to your doctor about your experience. (See Important Safety Information for possible side effects.)
During the evaluation, you will need to use a symptom tracker to write down your urinary symptoms, such as how many times you go to the bathroom and whether you have leaks, this can be obtained from your health care professional. You should be able to work and continue your normal activities, as long as you avoid lifting, bending or twisting movements. If you experience a significant reduction in your symptoms, you and your doctor can discuss long-term Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy.
Your doctor will be your primary source for support and information during the Medtronic Bladder Control Therapy evaluation. In addition, you can call the Medtronic Technical Support Helpline on 01923 205101.
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.