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Product Advisories/Safety Alerts

Urinary Retention


What are shortwave diathermy, microwave diathermy and therapeutic ultrasound diathermy treatments?
Diathermy, pronounced (di´-a-thur-me) are treatments that deliver energy to treat specific areas of the body. These treatments are typically used for the following purposes:

  • relieve pain, stiffness and muscle spasms
  • reduce joint contractures
  • reduce swelling and pain after surgery
  • promote wound healing

Anyone who has an implanted InterStim Therapy system CANNOT have any shortwave diathermy, microwave diathermy, or therapeutic ultrasound diathermy (all now referred to as diathermy) anywhere on their body. The energy generated by the diathermy process can be transferred through the implanted system and can cause tissue damage which could result in severe injury or death.

What Should You Do?
Inform anyone treating you that you CANNOT have any diathermy anywhere on your body because you have an implanted neurostimulation system. Energy from diathermy can be transferred through your implanted system, can cause tissue damage and can result in severe injury or death.

Diathermy can also damage parts of the InterStim Therapy system. This can result in loss of therapy from the neurostimulator, and can require additional surgery to remove or replace parts of the InterStim Therapy system. Personal injury or device damage can occur during diathermy treatment when:

  • The InterStim Therapy system is turned on or off.
  • Diathermy is used anywhere on the body (not just where the InterStim Therapy system is located).
  • Diathermy is used to deliver heat or no heat.
  • Any component of the InterStim Therapy system remains in the body, including lead, extension, or neurostimulator

If you have any questions about this communication or your therapy, please contact the healthcare professional who manages your neurostimulation treatment.